Heroic Westport Woman Hit by Truck While Helping Driver Is on the Mend
A Westport woman was injured last month when she was struck by a vehicle on the Braga Bridge while checking on the driver of another car who had crashed moments earlier in the driving rain.
While assisting the gentlemen from Acushnet, a truck hydroplaned, spun out of control, and slammed into the woman and the other driver.
Her name is Stefanie Cabral. She's a lab technician at UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester and she's being dubbed a hero for selflessly putting herself in harm's way.
"Rehab has been a lot easier than I thought it was going to be," Cabral told Fun 107. "The doctors said because I'm young, it's easier for me to heal."
The crash on June 28 broke Cabral's left arm and fractured her ribs, pelvis and hip socket.
"I was on my way to work at 5:30 in the morning and the guy in front of me hit a puddle and hydroplaned into the Jersey barrier," Cabral said. "I noticed his airbags were deployed as he got out of his car and I got nervous for him since it was a high-traffic area so I pulled in front of him at an angle. I got out and he said, 'I'm calling my wife,' so I offered to call an ambulance for him."
Cabral, pictured above post-injury with a friend's father and a spirit-lifting bag of Reese's peanut butter cups, said she didn't notice anything wrong with the man but she wanted to make sure he was OK.
"I stayed with him and not even a minute later, we noticed an oncoming truck hit the same puddle and hydroplaned directly toward us. He tried to push me out of the way, but there wasn't enough time and the truck hit us both."
The 62-year-old man Cabral stopped to help, whose name was not released, was hospitalized but was also expected to make a full recovery.
Lying on her back while the rain came pelting down, she remembers seeing EMTs and a state trooper shielding her face from the elements. Her memory leading up to that is hazy.
Despite her injuries, Cabral managed to keep her sense of humor.
"I remember being in the ambulance and was told they had to cut off my raincoat and scrubs and couldn't help but think about how much money they were cutting off," she said.
Cabral spent a couple of weeks in the hospital and in rehab struggling to accomplish simple tasks such as sitting up on her own or moving her leg.
When asked if she would do it again, Cabral replied, without hesitation, "Probably, yes."
She said this week she looks forward to returning home, where her family and friends are patiently waiting to take good care of her until she's 100% back to good health.