ST. PAUL, Minn. -- The family of a West St. Paul woman says it's nothing short of a "miracle" their loved one survived a fall from the Lafayette Bridge in St. Paul.
On Sunday, Mary Jungbauer was driving from her friend's home in Blaine back to her home in West St. Paul. She had just driven onto the Lafayette Bridge when her relatives say her tire missed the bridge's barrier.
"Instead it hit the snow and she flew up just like a ski slope," said Cheryl Hanna, her sister.
What happened next, her family says, is nearly unbelieveable.
"She did not drop, she flew," Hanna said.
"It was flying through the air," added Brenda Welsch, also Mary's sister. "She did fly. We believe angels set her down. It was an act of God."
Somehow, Mary landed on the ground -- alive. She was conscious but seriously injured. Her family believes she sat there for only minutes before help arrived.
"They were up to the car before I even had my seat belt off," said Jim Golden, owner of a nearby deli.
After work on Sunday, the Golden family decided to look for anyone who may be stuck in the snow. They soon found Mary -- trapped in her car under the Lafayette Bridge.
"The car looked a little deformed from a distance, and I did see a glimpse of someone in there," said Lukas Golden.
The family rushed to Mary's side, called 9-1-1 and talked with her until paramedics arrived.
Berit Golden recalls the moment Mary realized the ambulance was there to help.
"Mary, they're here. They're here right now. And she just smiled and said, 'I love you guys,'" Berit said.
On Wednesday, Mary remained in critical condition, recovering from eight broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a fractured spine, a broken pelvis, and a lacerated liver and spleen. But she is expected to make a full recovery.
And that is a reason for great gratitude among Mary's family.
"We're just thankful. We're just thankful it wasn't her time. That's all we can say," Hanna said.
Mary's workplace has set up a fund to help Mary in her long road to recovery. Checks can be made out to the "Mary Jungbauer Trust," and sent to Affinity Plus Credit Union, at: 175 W. Lafayette Rd., St. Paul, MN 55107. The Affinity Plus telephone number is: (651) 291-3700.
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