Woman who survived Twin Bridges fall tells survival story

Posted at 1:32 PM, Mar 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-28 09:06:18-04

A 24-year-old Waco woman who was thrown off a bridge in a truck accident and then had to swim 200 yards to safety says "God had to be watching over me, because there's no explanation why I'm still alive."

Brittney Garrett was driving across the Twin Bridges just west of Waco Wednesday night about midnight when her phone pinged from a text.  In the brief moment it took to glance to see who messaged her, she veered into the guard rail.  Her Toyota Tundra pickup was destroyed, with the rail slicing through the cab.  

Garrett slipped through a gaping hole in the floorboard and plunged 60 feet into Lake Waco.

"I don't remember hitting the guard rail, but I remember falling and thinking I'm about to die," she said.  "I remember swimming up - it felt like a movie," as she made frantic motions with her arms.  "Swimming for your life - that's what it felt like."

She apparently blacked out, then woke up straddling a solitary floating log beneath one of the State Highway 6 bridges. 

"That's what save my life," she said, referring to the log.

"A split second was all it took.  I remember when I was falling from the bridge, I was telling myself I'm about to die, am I gonna see my son again?" she asked. "All because of my phone, it was really scary."

Garrett was dazed on that log, and could see police cars and an ambulance above her.  She looked to her left and say Midway Park, and to her right was Speegleville Park.  She'd been a swimmer since she was 2 years old, when her dad nicknamed her "tadpole, and she thought about that as she fought fatigue to make it to shore. 

"Did you ever feel like you weren't going to make it," she was asked?

"Yea, one time," she answered.  "I honestly didn't think I would make it, but just thinking about my little boy..." she said as her voice trailed off.

"I told myself this is not how I'm gonna die, not this way, especially over something simple like my phone," she promised herself.

When she reached shore, she realized she's survived and was still alive. She then managed to find a camper trailer and ask a man to call for help.  Amazingly, Barrett had suffered no major injuries - just bumps and bruises and a sore back.

"I don't know how I survived, but I'm thankful, very thankful to be here," she said. "When something like this happens you can't freak out, you gotta stay calm, think practical -- what you need to do to survive, " she explained.

Her truck is destroyed, but she is not.  Garrett told her mom she wanted to wait a while before crossing the Twin Bridges again. 

The mother to 4-year-old Waylon knows she blessed.  "I was very lucky, a life changing event.  Not a lot of people get a second chance in life like that," she said.  

"I get to watch my son grow up," Garrett promised.

Barrett wants to be a teacher, and is studying to do that.  She lost both her hearing aids in Lake Waco during the incident, and friends have started a GoFundMe account to help cover some of her expenses. You can find a link on our website,


Just a day after surviving a devastating car crash, Brittney Garrett is sitting down with Bruce Gietzen to tell her story.

You can catch Bruce's interview with Garrett tonight at 5 and 6 p.m.

Around midnight Thursday, the 24-year-old was driving west on Highway 6 when she lost control and slammed into the guard rail.

The impact caused the truck to split side by side creating a hole in the driver’s side floor board. Garrett then fell 60 feet before landing in the water and then swam at least 150 yards to shore near Speegleville Park.

She was rushed to the hospital but she didn’t appear to have any major injuries but she was obviously traumatized, Waco Police Sergeant John Allovio said.

"I'm alive, thank you God. Thank you for all the prayers. Got quite a recovery ahead of me but I survived to see another day and most of all my son. Ready to get back on the field," Garrett wrote on a Facebook post Thursday evening. 

Garrett is partially deaf and lost her hearing aids in the crash. There is a Go Fund Me page set up to help cover the expense of new ones. 

News Channel 25's Anthony J. Garcia contributed to this story.

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