Driver reacts to hitting woman who jumped from Moorhead bridgeMoorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - That driver says he's lucky to be alive, had he been there tenths of a second earlier he says it would have been a double fatal.
Moorhead, MN (WDAY TV) - That driver says he's lucky to be alive, had he been there tenths of a second earlier he says it would have been a double fatal.
He says by the time he stopped on the shoulder, he thought he was in a horror movie.
Ben Deraas was westbound on I-94 when he saw something fall down from the overpass. He thought it was a tarp, and it wasn't until the victim was eye level and right in front of his car that he saw her hair and realized it was a person.
Ben Deraas: "I never saw her face it probably would have given me nightmares otherwise.”
This was the scene Saturday night minutes after it happened.
Deraas was heading home from work. He says the victim, 55-year-old Kristi Garden hit the pavement first and he had no time to swerve out of the way.
Deraas: "I just roll over her like a speed bump it scared me more than anything."
Immediately torn with emotions he says dealing with the fact he just ran over a person - also initially dealing with some anger that the victim nearly caused him his life, and had there been more cars around other people’s lives.
Deraas: "I could have run right into the bottom of the overpass I was pretty close. You have to wonder what she was thinking and what kind of situation she was in to do that. I certainly think if you're going to do something like that there are better ways to do it.”
He and his vehicle made it home that night unharmed and unmarked, but he'll forever carry images now burned into his memory.
Deraas: "It felt like the beginning of a horror movie almost."
One of the hardest parts for Deraas reflecting on this, he's a new father and can't stand to think his 7-month-old would have grown up without a dad.