SALISBURY — An Amesbury woman is being called very lucky after a freak accident yesterday afternoon left her and her car deep in a drainage ditch off busy Route 110.
Emergency responders arrived at the scene outside Ambassador Limousine about 12:30 p.m. to find a Jeep Liberty in knee-deep water about 10 feet from the road, with the woman driver, who was conscious, still inside.
Evidence at the scene illustrated the harrowing route the woman and her vehicle took before coming to rest in the ditch.
According to the trail of damage, the car, which appeared to be heading west toward Amesbury, hit a couple of mailboxes on the north side of the road, then struck and crushed the nearby guardrail, which sliced off most of the front undercarriage of the vehicle.
The car then struck the concrete buttress that shores up the drainage ditch and became airborne before crashing to the ground about 10 feet away, leaving a 6-inch rut in the mud.
But the car's journey wasn't complete. It continued to mow down about 15 feet of phragmites reeds before driving up the embankment, across Ambassador Limousine's driveway, then down the embankment on the other side, finally plunging 6 feet and coming to rest in the water.
Just before 1 p.m., Salisbury firefighters and American Medical Response paramedics had removed the woman from her car onto a backboard and were transferring her to the ambulance, which took her to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. Her condition was unknown at press time, and police hadn't released her name.
"She was conscious and alert when we got to her," Merritt said. "She asked if she could back the car out of the ditch, because she had somewhere she had to be at 1:30."
Merritt observed a small cut on the woman's head while she was being tended to in her vehicle. The possibility of a pre-accident medical episode has not been ruled out.
The path the vehicle took showed that it missed two telephone poles and a large tree as it threaded its way to its landing spot.
"She was very lucky," Salisbury police officer Bruce Dow said as he directed traffic at the scene.