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Washington Woman Survives 27-Foot Poles Through Windshield

ABC News Blogs

A Washington State woman is lucky to be alive after a bundle of wooden poles from a truck came straight through her windshield and out the car's back window, leaving her with wood fragments in her skull but apparently no brain damage.

Erin Burns, 36, is being called a walking, talking miracle after the accident that occurred when she was out shopping for a child's birthday present and a truck in front of her suddenly stopped, and she didn't. A bundle of 27-foot-long wooden poles then came crashing straight into the Deming, Wash., woman's windshield.

"The first memory I have is I feel like I woke up and I was chewing glass," she said.

Burns says she doesn't remember, but figures she must have somehow flinched and turned her head at exactly the right angle. Police said that they were imagining that there was no way the driver made it out alive.

"I'd say she was extremely lucky, and she's here and she's alive and I think that's what counts," Washington State Patrol Trooper Bob Wilson said.

Burns said that doctors pulled out 200 splinters and sewed stitches along the side of her head and the more severe wound in front, where her skull was actually pushed back inside her head. A bone from her hip was used to patch it up. The shredded chunk of pole didn't make it through to her brain.

Burns said that after the incident she "feels great." Her mother, Janet O'Mara, is grateful beyond words. "She's going to come out of this OK," O'Mara said. "And we're so grateful, so thankful."

Burns believes she has been given a second chance at life. "I still have this opportunity to live my life," she said. "And I do plan to live it every single day."

More than anything, Burns says, she's thankful her kids weren't in the backseat at the time.

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