TIPPECANOE COUNTY, Ind. (May 26, 2015) -- A woman has her will to survive and the help of Good Samaritans to thank after a horrific car crash on Memorial Day.
Lorri Allen was driving home from Chicago to Tennessee just before 8 a.m. Monday morning when she saw a commotion on the shoulder of I-65 South just outside Lafayette.
"I pulled over to see if I could help," Allen said.
She found a woman, bloody and barely alive, being cared for by another Good Samaritan who had seen her lying on the side of the road, trying to wave for help.
"She had already put a blanket over her and she was just trying to comfort her," Allen said.
That's because the woman had come from the bottom of a steep embankment, where her car had ended up smashed into a bridge support. It's believed she fell asleep at the wheel hours earlier, between 2 and 4 a.m.
From above, it's too difficult to see the area and drivers could not tell the car was off the road. That forced the woman to climb out of her windshield and up the embankment to get help.
It was an amazing feat, especially when you hear it from Trooper Darrick Scott, who arrived at the scene shortly after Allen got there.
"Her ankle was shattered, (she) had a lot of internal injuries and major gashes on her legs and arms," Scott said.
Scott later talked to her at the hospital, where she told him it took her hours to get to the road.
"She attempted to climb (up) numerous times but failed. ... She told me she had a daughter to get home to and she found the will to get up that embankment," Scott said.
Once she got to the road, Allen said she could easily have been run over by a passing car. Instead, strangers who stopped were able to direct traffic out of the way and stay with her until emergency crews arrived.
"We were just reassuring her that she was going to be okay, that the ambulance was on the way," Allen said.
That ambulance got there just in time. Allen and Scott both said the woman was having a hard time breathing by then. First responders took over and got her to the hospital, leaving Allen and the others to try and process what had just happened.
"After she was in the ambulance, we all looked at each other and just hugged each other like we were family," Allen said.
Scott said there is little doubt as to how it could have ended, had no one stopped to help.
"If it was not for those Good Samaritans, she would not be here today," Scott said.
The woman, identified as 31-year-old Tanequa Long, was transferred to IU Health Methodist Hospital. Staff tell CBS4 she is "very stable" and recovering from her injuries.
Allen hopes to get in touch with the others who were there to help and let Long's family know how much they did for her. If you know them, reach out to CBS4's Jill Glavan at firstname.lastname@example.org.