Bianca Vera recuperates in hospital after daring jump from bridge to save her life.
HALL COUNTY, GA -- When a car hit Bianca Vera's SUV on an icy bridge over Lake Lanier in Hall County Thursday, she got out to inspect the damage, only to find a big truck barreling down at her.
In a second, she was forced to make a life or death decision.
Stay on the bridge and die. Or take her chances with a daring jump into the water.
"I remember looking up at the stars, and I thought that was going to be it," she recalled of her plunge. "[I thought] I wasn't going to make it past the morning, that I was going to lose consciousness and be there by myself."
But the 22 year-old college student was still alive. And that's only the first miracle.
She said, "The last thing I remember... the last thought while I was in the air, I remember hearing the crash of the tractor trailer hitting my car and then me hitting the water."
Bianca had survived the 30-foot leap into the ice-cold water of Lake Lanier. Now she struggled to stay afloat, treading water for 45 minutes as she tried to swim to shore.
With a broken back.
It was the kind of move you'd expect from a Navy SEAL, not a petite college coed with dimples.
"I came back up to the surface, and I thought 'I don't know what I'm going to do. I'm in trouble'," she said from her hospital bed at Northeast Georgia Medical Center in Gainesville on Friday. "I looked over at the trees. It was still dark, and I could barely see them. And I knew it was going to be a very long swim."
Bianca still has cuts and bruises all over her body, including one on her arm that resembled fingerprints. That's where her mother believes a guardian angel grabbed her and pulled her to shore. She says it was nothing short of a miracle.
"Oh, my God, of course. I've been touching God all these last two days," said her mother Marta Ceron. "It's been amazing. If He wasn't with her, she couldn't make it."
For the first time since the accident, Vera was able to walk Friday. She said it was painful; but that being able to feel the pain was a good sign as far as her prognosis is concerned. She said she could be released from the hospital any day.
Meanwhile the search for the truck that hit her car continues.