Norwich

‘I Am Still in Shock:’ Woman Survives SUV Crash Over Wall

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Kristi Daden still finds the images hard to look at. Three days ago she was laying down on a backboard, surrounded by firefighters, being guided down a steep, slippery hill.

“I am still in shock,” said Daden, now recovering in the hospital with five broken ribs.

Daden said she was leaving her home on Cedar Street Saturday just after 4:30 p.m. when her car started sliding down the snow-covered hill. The car went through a fence on School Street and eventually flipped over a large concrete wall, landing on its roof below on Court Street.

“I was in a panic,” said Daden. “It all happened so fast.”

Daden was hanging upside down in her car. Neighbors surrounded her, talking to her to keep her calm.

"All I heard was a crack and people screaming and that was it," said Willy Andujar, of Norwich.

"She was trying to brake and it just, it just wouldn't stop," said Amy Aitkens, of Norwich.

Conditions were so slippery on the steep road that the ambulance couldn't make it. First responders had to get creative.

They placed Daden, who was on a backboard, onto the snowy street and slid her down with the help of some ropes to the ambulance waiting below.

“I said ‘are we tobogganing?’ and they started to laugh,” said Daden.

Daden said she was trying to lighten the mood and she was thankful that the first responders followed suit, putting her at ease.

"Every resource incoming had a challenge in some way, shape or form," said Norwich Fire Department Captain Allyn Fitch.

Fire officials called the rescue "treacherous" and "precarious”, but successful.

"In this particular scenario and because of the geography of the streets where we're at, it's impacting us greatly," Fitch added.

Norwich Public Works went to the site of the crash Tuesday to assess what they should do to replace the fence and increase safety in the area. They said they have never seen a crash through the fence like Daden’s, but they want to try to prevent another one from happening again.

Daden has a long road to recovery ahead. She said that she is thankful to be alive and she is looking forward to thanking the firefighters in person.

“I have a strong belief in God. It just was not my time yet,” said Daden.

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