A 39-year-old woman in Oregon was rushed to the hospital last Thursday after a harrowing car accident and apparent suicide attempt. The woman was driving her car along Interstate 105 approximately 110 miles outside of Portland when she set herself on fire in Eugene. After setting herself on fire, the woman lost control of her vehicle, hit a median and crashed her car near an exit on an interstate overpass.
Still on fire, the woman exited her vehicle, and unconfirmed reports say that she stripped the burning clothes off her body before leaping 40 feet from the top of the highway bridge and landing in a park below. Miraculously, she survived and did not suffer any life-threatening injuries.
Another woman, who was in the park under the accident scene was hurt by the car's bumper, which flew into the park after the collision. Fortunately, the injuries were not serious and she was quickly discharged from the hospital.
Police Suspect the Woman Was Suicidal
Police suspect the incident was a botched suicide attempt. They found evidence of a propellant that had been sprayed inside the car. Authorities have not definitively completed their investigations, but they suspect that the woman purposefully self-immolated.
Following the accident, passing car drivers and passersby rushed to the woman's assistance. A truck driver sprayed the woman's car with a fire extinguisher and another woman unsuccessfully tried to prevent the woman from leaping off the bridge.
Woman Could Be Liable for Damages
Further police investigations will no doubt reveal if this woman was driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time of the crash. Regardless of the results of their investigations, the woman will no doubt be liable for financial damages caused as a result of the accident -- both with regard to the injured 40-year-old woman's hospital bills and damages sustained by the bridge railing she crashed into.
She may also face criminal charges and traffic violations relating to the incident. That said, if the woman was indeed suicidal then the nature and consequences of those charges may be reduced. The court may also require her to complete a program of psychological treatment.
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