‘I’m just thankful to be alive’ | Driver defies the odds, survives mangled wreckage

POINTE COUPEE PARISH – A 54-year-old woman from Ventress is counting her blessings and realizing that it simply was not her time. The driver defied the odds after a crash that could have easily turned deadly.

Michelle Firmin narrowly escaped serious injury after her vehicle flipped off the road and was hidden under several trees.

The crash happened Wednesday, June 19, shortly after 6:00 p.m. along River Road in Pointe Coupee Parish.

“I slid off the road and the car went into a spin. It just kind of slid, went sideways, and I was going backwards and sideways and sliding,” Firmin said. “Then I hit the culvert, and when I hit the culvert, it rolled me over. I flew up in the air about 10 feet, and then it landed in the trees, where they couldn’t see me.” 

Firmin’s car veered off the road, overturning amidst trees that obscured the wreckage from passing vehicles and cell phone signals. Firmin was able to contact her husband, who immediately set out to find her. 

“He said, ‘Okay, I’m coming.’ When he came, they passed me up because he couldn’t see the car was so buried into the trees and the bushes.”

About 30 minutes after speaking to her husband, phone service began to drop and concern quickly escalated when family members were unable to find Firmin or track her phone. 

“There’s no phone reception right there on the River Rd. I then tried to call for help through Siri, but it doesn’t work when there’s no service,” Firmin continued. “My family was pinging me, and it was showing me somewhere else, for whatever reason, I guess because the reception is so bad.”

Approximately an hour later, Firmin was able to climb out of the vehicle and toss her phone to a place where it would get reception. She says it wasn’t long after that she looked up to see her son who finally found her. 

Remarkably, Firmin was able to give clear details of her escape from the mangled car.

“I broke the glass on the passenger door, which allowed more room for the door to kind of open some. I was able to crack the window open just enough to turn around, slide out backwards and pull myself up,” she shared.  

First responders were at the scene shortly thereafter. Miraculously, Firmin walked away with only minor bruises and scratches despite the violent nature of the accident.

“I never lost consciousness or anything. It just happened so fast. I didn’t realize I was upside down at the moment, until I unbuckled and then I did feel myself kind of drop a little, upside down.”

First-responders tended to her on the scene before transporting Firmin to the hospital, where they found nothing more than bruises and bumps on her head. 

“I’m just very thankful to be alive and blessed it just wasn’t my time to go,” Firmin said.

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