Trauma Nurse Who Fell From Bridge & Survived Tells Her Story

She attributes divine intervention for her survival.

Frederick, Md (KM) It was a harrowing experience for Angela Weir of New Market and her husband, Chris, when she fell off the I-70 bridge over the Monocacy River early Wednesday morning while attempting to assist a driver injured in a vehicle crash. But she says divine intervention was the reason she got out of it alive.

The couple spoke recently with WFMD News.

According to Chris Weir, he and Angela had left their home in New Market to go to Frederick to Crossfits for a workout before Angela Weir headed off to work on Wednesday morning. Angela Weir is a trauma nurse who works at University of Maryland Shock Trauma in Baltimore. While traveling west bound on I-70 toward the bridge, they encountered the accident which involved an overturned dump truck and a tractor trailer. “In front of us in the third lane under the Linganore Bridge, we could see brake lights and then a big fireball. And as we came up on that, my wife told me we’re going to need to stop and she’s  going to need to get out to help one of the drivers or something,” says Chris Weir.

Angela Weir says she assessed the situation, which was not easy with the darkness and all the smoke. She says she went to the dump truck driver first because it looked like he needed assistance the most. Angela Weir says she saw a jersey barrier and thought it would be easy to hop over, and get to the driver. “As soon as I put my hands over and hopped over, my feet didn’t hit anything and then the fall began,” she said. “It was definitely the most terrifying moment of my life.”

As she was falling down, Angela Weir felt it was the end for her. “So I fall for what seemed like a long, long time,” she said. “I had enough time to think that ‘this was it. And I can’t believe it.’ Those are not even the right words. I couldn’t believe it. I thought ‘no, this is not happening,” she said.

Angela Weir landed in the water. Maryland State Police, which investigate the crash, said Angela Weir fell 75-feet.

As he walked over the bridge back to his car, Chris Weir said he saw a woman leaning over the jersey barriers between the east and westbound lanes. “She was pointing, and I came up to her. And she said ‘there’s someone down there.’ And I leaned over, I heard my wife yelling my name, telling me that she was okay. She landed in the river and swam and was up against the embankment down there,” he said.

Angela Weir says she landed in the water and swam to the bank. “I swam to the trees and eventually felt mud underneath me and got to the bank of the river. The bank was muddy and steep. No way I could have gone up it and I knew that I needed to not move any further because of my pain in my back,” she said. “I thought I need to be still and hope someone can get to me.”
Chris Weir says he a Sheriff’s Deputy and State Trooper went down there to see what they could do, along with a member of the State Police Medivac unit. “I think they tried to bring a rescue boat around, but it got stuck because it was too shallow. He{the Medivac Team Member}  then rode in the helicopter with her all the way to Shock Trauma. And I was able to get to Shock Trauma and the rest is history,” he says.

Angela Weir was hoisted from the river bank by the State Police Helicopter which flew her to Shock Trauma in Baltimore.

Angela Weir says she underwent a full body cat scan, X-rays and an ultrasound. She says she didn’t have a broken pelvis, spine or leg, but there was a small chip on her tail bone. In addition, she says she had some soft tissue damage.

She’s currently at home recovering from her injuries.

When she decided to help out at the accident scene, Angela Weir said it was part of her nature. “I did an instinctual thing. I’m not a first responder and I’m not trained as a first responder. But I’m trained to help people,” she said. “Knowing that there’s always a safety thing on the roadway, I was trying to be safe. I just didn’t think about a bridge.”

Angela Weir says her survival is due to a higher power. “I’m a person of a strong faith. Yes, it was divine intervention. God is not ready for me yet for whatever reason. Pretty sure I have some more work to do down here,” she said.

Her husband, Chris Weir, thinks his wife has a guardian angel. “Her grandmother lived until she was 100. And we continue to think that Momma was there and put her down in the right spot,” he said. “The trooper said that she happened to land within a three-foot area that was like the perfect spot if you were falling off that bridge to land.”