Vehicle careens off I-80 bridge in Hackensack; 2 hurt

HACKENSACK, N.J. (WABC) -- Two women were injured when a Toyota Rav4 went off an Interstate 80 bridge in Hackensack Friday morning.

The vehicle landed in the weeds near the Hackensack River.

Officials say the vehicle careened off the eastbound lanes just after 7:15 a.m. near the Hackensack River overpass.

"I was shocked, in disbelief. She's my youngest child. You never imagine something like that would happen to your kid," said Don Wolthoff, Elizabeth's father.

"Just imagine what it would feel like if a loved on drove off a cliff. That's the phone call I got," said Jessica Winslow, Rebecca's sister.

There's not much left of 25-year-old Elizabeth Wolthoff's Rav4.

She was on her way to work with her childhood best friend, 23-year-old Rebecca Winslow, Friday morning.

They used their normal route along 1-80 to their job at a day care in Teaneck.

"She was cut off by a tractor-trailer. I guess there was a patch of ice, she swerved and went off the bridge," said Diane Wolthoff, Elizabeth's mother. "She's lucky to be alive."

The SUV fell some 60 feet, fortunately not into the river, and miraculously landed on its wheels.

"If they had landed anywhere else or on the roof they would not have been able to survive given the distance of the fall," said Michael Thomasey, of the Hackensack Fire Department.

Hackensack firefighters tore open the doors and the roof to get to the women.

Winslow's family says she may not need surgery, but Wolthoff will for two fractures in her back and a blood clot on her spine.

Both families are now thanking their rescuers.

"Thank you! Thank you! They got them out quickly and safely, minimal damage, I'd like to meet them," Winslow said.

Copyright © 2020 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.