Published On: Thu, Feb 17th, 2011

Bianca Vera, leaps from 40 foot bridge to survive (VIDEO)

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ATLANTA – A Gainesville woman who jumped off a bridge and into Lake Lanier to escape an oncoming truck was out of the hospital Monday. Twenty-two-year-old Bianca Vera said she didn’t know if help would ever make it home after she took a 40 foot leap into the waters of Lake Lanier. Vera called her rescue a miracle.

“That’s all I wished for. Was one more time to be with them,” said Vera.

Vera says she focused on her family and friends after plunging into icy waters below this Gainesville bridge on Route 53.

“I was swimming on my back and I was looking up at the stars and I thought that was it. I thought I was going to lose consciousness at any moment and that was just going to be it,” recalled Vera.

The 22-year-old said she was driving across the span early Thursday morning, when another driver struck her SUV and kept going.

Vera said she pulled over to check the damage and saw headlights heading toward her fast. That’s when Vera jumped 40 feet down into the water.

“It hurt so much, my legs and I had to keep on kicking, keep on moving my arms. Just to get back and see everyone,” said Vera.

The force of the impact broke one of Vera’s vertebrae.

Vera said she struggled in the icy water for 45 minutes before making it to the embankment. A glimmer of hope grew when she saw the beams of flashlights.

“Hallelujah! It was like a miracle. It was like, ‘Oh my god, I cannot believe it!” said Vera.

Vera received cuts and bruises on her arms and legs and it will take months for her back to heal.

Vera said she is thankful her cries for help were heard. Things could have ended much differently.

“I don’t think I’d ever felt so alone, so solitary in my entire life. And the feeling of hopelessness, you’re not going to make it,” Vera said.

Vera says she had been hoping to return to school this week, but she may have to put classes off until her back has healed.

Vera will find out in two weeks if she has to have surgery.

Gainesville Woman Jumps from Bridge: MyFoxATLANTA.com

http://www.myfoxatlanta.com/dpp/news/gainesville-woman-jumps-from-bridge-021411

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