Car drives off ramp, plunges 50 feet; motorists stop to help

Credit: WFLA

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – It was a risky rescue Wednesday on Interstate 75 South at Exit 246. A car with two women inside drove off the exit ramp. Several drivers who watched it unfold jumped out of their cars to help.

Several Good Samaritans pulled the passenger out of the car – and out of the woods – to safety. The driver was still pinned inside.

First responders arrived about 10 minutes later to free the driver and get her care.

Car drives off ramp

Around 7:30 p.m. the vehicle drove off the ramp and plunged 50 feet down an embankment. The car traveled at least a dozen feet into the woods before coming to a stop. It’s unclear if the wet roads or a possible medical condition caused the accident.

“We were coming off the off ramp, and she was in front of me,” Mika Smith said. “She hit the guard rail and bounced off and flew into the ravine. I don’t know, but it happened so fast.”

Smith said she pulled over right away. Other drivers also sprang into action.

“Being nosy at first but then when I realized how serious it was [when] they said people were down there. I said, we got to go down there and help,’” William Ferrer of Tampa said.

Rene Rivera also pulled over right away. “It’s the Godly thing to do,” Rivera said. “If it was you, you’d want someone to help out.”

Some of those Good Samaritans even ran back into the woods where the car was stuck in the mud.

“It was scary,” said Ferrer. “The first thing I was thinking to myself, ‘I hope everybody’s going to be OK.’”

Now the hope is the women will each make a complete recovery. “I’ve been praying since I pulled over,” Smith said.

The Florida Highway Patrol has not released the identities of the two women or information on their conditions. Good Samaritans said the two women in the car were a mother and daughter-in-law.

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