Grandmother is real survivor!
Published 5:00 am Friday, August 18, 2000
When you combine a grandmother, tenacity and luck with a happyending, a great story is bound to emerge.
When you combine a grandmother, tenacity and luck with a happyending, a great story is bound to emerge. The story of TillieTooter has certainly been that.
By now you’ve surely heard about the 83-year-old Floridagrandmother who, while on the way to the airport to pick up somerelatives, was evidently hit from behind by another vehicle,sending her car plummeting 40 feet off an interstate bridge.
A thicket of mangrove and willow trees cushioned her fall andkept her Toyota Tercel suspended sideways, only inches above asnake- and alligator-infested swamp.
That’s the luck.
Tillie unbuckled her seat belt and made herself as comfortableas possible. For sustenance, she stuck an aluminum steering wheelcover outside her broken windshield to collect rainwater in the 100degree heat.
That’s the tenacity.
After three days in this predicament, just as Tillie had givenup and started writing her family a goodbye letter, JustinVannelli, 15, who was collecting trash on the bridge, noticed someof the mangled trees below. He looked down and saw Tillie’s car.About an hour later she was rescued and transported to the hospitalwhere she was listed in serious condition, but was improving.
That’s the happy ending.
Maybe we’ll get to hear more about Tillie Tooter on another day.If CBS is smart, they’ll ask her to be a contestant on “Survivor.”We think she’s a shoo-in for that million dollars.