When Judith Kaplan recounts the night her car plunged 100 feet off Mulholland Drive in Los Angeles, she says she wonders how she survived.
Minutes before her car left the road, Kaplan realized her dashboard was in complete darkness and her headlights were off, but she decided to continue driving slowly up the winding hill to her home, about a half-mile away.
“All of a sudden, I heard the loudest bang ever and saw white branches crashing down on the car, shattering my windshield,” Kaplan said. The car moved slowly and stopped a couple of times before it finally shut down. Unaware that she had plummeted off the road into a canyon, Kaplan removed her seatbelt to pick up her cell phone, which had fallen to the floor, and called 9-1-1.
“Had I not had that phone, no one would have found me,” she said, explaining how just six days earlier, she had switched to Verizon Wireless from a competitor because her husband and son are Verizon customers and they have excellent service. “I never got good reception with my old phone. In fact, I had to go out to the middle of the street to make a call. I could play Words with Friends; that worked.”
Kaplan said that as she reached for her phone the night of the accident, she worried she might not be able to call for help. “I’m convinced I was rescued because the Verizon signal was there when I needed it. I feel lucky that I changed my service when I did.”
Six firefighters pulled Kaplan up the hill to where an ambulance was waiting at the side of the road. Though she describes the accident as terrifying, she feels grateful to have come through it with no injuries or bruises. “I’m fine,” she said. “I know it was a miracle that I wasn’t hurt. I feel blessed.”