A local man is sharing his harrowing story of survival after the vehicle he was driving careened over a barrier on Interstate 355, sending him plummeting from a bridge onto the roadway below.
Kevin Ramos was driving along the highway Tuesday morning when his vehicle began sliding.
“I kind of just slightly swerved to the right. It overcorrected and then I went too far,” he said.
Ramos hit a patch of black ice, sending him skidding across four lanes of traffic. He then hit a bank of plowed snow, and the momentum of the crash carried him up and over a barrier.
“I just remember thinking that there were cars underneath, and that I was probably going to go over,” he said. “I had accepted my fate at that point. I just really didn’t want to affect somebody else at the same time.”
Somehow, Ramos didn’t hit another vehicle, landing on Lake Street with his vehicle right-side up.
“Some random gentleman called and said ‘your husband told me to call you. He went over the overpass on I-355,’” Olivia Ramos, Kevin’s wife, recalled. “I didn’t believe him.”
Ramos suffered only a hairline fracture to his ribs, walking away from the crash conscious, alert and alive.
“It just goes to show you that even under those conditions, the safest driver can go off a bridge, so I would just consider not driving if you don’t need to,” he said.
The Jeep was a total loss, but the Ramos family feels extremely fortunate, well aware that the crash could have had a much worse outcome.
Others have not been so lucky recently. Just last week, two people died when the car they were riding in went over a barrier on the Stevenson expressway, hitting a pole and landing on the ground below.
Olivia Ramos says that her heart sank when she got the call, but that she is grateful that her husband is alive.
“Me losing him, after we’ve only been married four months, (would have) been so devastating,” she said.