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Driver Engulfed in Flames Runs From Crashed Car, Jumps Off Bridge — and Survives
Image source: KMTR-TV

Driver Engulfed in Flames Runs From Crashed Car, Jumps Off Bridge — and Survives

"I believe it was intentionally set on fire..."

An Oregon driver suffered "life-threatening" injuries after she crashed a burning car, fled the vehicle engulfed in flames, then jumped 40 feet off a bridge, Eugene police said.

Image source: KMTR-TV

In addition, a person under the bridge sustained nonlethal injuries after the debris from the car or bridge struck them, KMTR-TV reported.

Image source: KMTR-TV

The driver, identified by police as 39-year-old Mary Johanna Gawenda, was reported missing on Tuesday. Witnesses told police Gawenda crashed on the Washington-Jefferson Bridge on Thursday about 12:30 p.m.

"The vehicle appeared to be driving recklessly," Lieutenant Doug Mozan told KMTR, adding that there may have been a fire "inside of the vehicle."

"I believe it was intentionally set on fire but at this point we're still investigating, I think according to witnesses she was spreading some sort of propellant but it's hard to say what exactly that was and I saw personally the burn damage was extensive," Mozan added.

Police said the car hit the bridge guardrail above a skatepark then came to stop further ahead, which is when Gawenda exited.

"Witnesses report that she was on fire and stripping and ran southbound on the bridge before eventually intentionally jumping off the bridge," Mozan told KMTR.

After the 40-foot fall, she was rushed to a hospital and later taken to a Portland burn-treatment facility.

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Dave Urbanski

Dave Urbanski

Sr. Editor, News

Dave Urbanski is a senior editor for Blaze News.
@DaveVUrbanski →