Despite having just been through a near-death experience, the nurse went to the hospital and worked a half shift before getting herself checked out.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on February 12, 2021. It has since been updated.
A north Texas nurse considers herself "unbelievably blessed" after managing to survive a massive crash involving more than 130 vehicles in Fort Worth in 2021. Speaking to ABC13, Rebecca Benson revealed that she was on her way to work, like every other day, when the incident occurred around 6:30 am on Interstate 35W. Although she had heard about bad weather coming, the roads were dry when she left her home, said Benson. However, things quickly took a turn for the worse when she came up to a corner and got on the bridge.
After crawling out of the pileup that killed six people, this nurse still worked half a shift before going to a hospital for a check-up. https://t.co/vtyeSu7xKe— ABC13 Houston (@abc13houston) February 12, 2021
"As soon as I hit that bridge, [there was] black ice. My car started to spin out a little bit, but nothing crazy, and so I was adjusted," Benson recounted. "While I was coming around the corner, I see the cars in front of me. I'm trying to not spin out and to figure out if I can stop. I mean, my foot was as close to going through the floorboard as it possibly could be. And I realized that there's no stopping. So, there was a Coca-Cola semi and a car hauler semi that had kind of made almost like a triangle. So, I wanted the car there and prayed to God that I would be okay and that's when I hit them."
Benson revealed that although she tried to stay calm, she was shaking in her vehicle every time cars and semis slammed onto the pile. "I looked in my rearview mirror and can see all of these cars heading towards me. So I think that was the scariest part, knowing that I survived this part but now the chances of me getting completely smashed by all the cars and semis behind me," she said, describing the scene as bizarre. "Like a zombie movie."
Benson was finally helped out of the back of her pinned car by another motorist. "I could hear something on my roof and saw little legs coming down my windshield. Somebody ended up opening the back of my car and asking if I was okay. And then I was able to actually get out because all my doors were completely blocked," she said. Despite having been through a near-death experience, Benson was determined to get to work and called up one of her co-workers who happened to be nearby. "So I talked to one of the police officers, I was like, 'Can I leave my car here and go hitch a ride with my co-worker?' So, I hopped the barrier, literally walked up the highway down to him," she said.
However, she was stuck with her co-worker for another two hours before getting to the hospital. Benson worked a half shift until her husband mentioned taking her to a hospital to get her checked out for any injuries from the crash. "My husband was like, 'We need to get to the hospital.' So I worked until things kind of cleared up, and then got a ride and came to the hospital to get checked out," Benson said. "I have neck pain, shoulder pain, and my left elbow is bruised to the high heavens and, you know, typical aches and pains that you would have. But I am unbelievably blessed."
According to Global News, the pileup on Interstate 35 left at least six people dead and dozens injured. "There were multiple people that were trapped within the confines of their vehicles and requiring the use of hydraulic rescue equipment to successfully extricate them," said Fort Worth Fire Chief Jim Davis. Matt Zavadsky, a spokesman for MedStar — which provides the ambulance service for the area — revealed that at least 65 people sought care at hospitals of which 36 were taken by ambulance from the crash site. Zavadsky added that one of the ambulances was hit at one point but fortunately, it only sustained minor damage and the crew members were fine. "The roadway was so treacherous from the ice that several of the first responders were falling on the scene," he said.