Driver Recalls Crash That Left Her Truck Dangling Over Louisville Bridge: ‘I Thought I Was About to Die'

Sydney Thomas, 26, was left hanging 100 feet over the Ohio River after her truck went through the railings of the Clark Memorial Bridge

<p>WHAS11/YouTube</p> Sydney Thomas.


Sydney Thomas.
  • Sydney Thomas, 26, was driving over the Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, Kentucky when a pickup truck swerved into her

  • Thomas' semi-truck was left hanging nearly 100 feet above the Ohio River after she veered off the road

  • Thomas is now speaking out in her first interview since the incident on March 1

The semi-truck driver who veered off a Kentucky bridge and was left dangling in mid-air over the Ohio River is speaking out.

On March 1, Sydney Thomas, 26, was driving along the Clark Memorial Bridge near Louisville, Ky. when a pickup truck swerved toward her and she lost control of her vehicle.

Thomas' semi-truck was left hanging nearly 100 feet above the Ohio River before Bryce Carden, a firefighter who specializes in high-angle rescues, managed to rappel down to the driver's cabin and carry her to safety.

While speaking to WHAS11 on May 13 in her first interview since the incident, Sydney, who is mom to a 5-year-old son, Mason, shared, “This is the closest I’ve been [to the bridge].”

Per the outlet, Thomas had been dangling off the bridge for about 40 minutes before Carden came to her rescue.

“Sometimes you pray, and I’m guilty of this, I pray, and I don’t think God is listening,” she told the outlet, getting emotional, adding: “But he was that day.”

“It’s kind of hard to look at, but I’m not there,” Thomas said while talking in front of the bridge, adding, “I’m here.”

Thomas, who had been driving for Sysco for two years when the incident happened, won't be immediately driving another semi-truck when she returns to work for the company on June 1. She also doesn't plan on driving across the Clark Memorial Bridge again, per WHAS11.

"It's a hard job, but my coworkers are like family to me and I'm comfortable, and I know how to do my job," she told the outlet of getting back behind the wheel.

Dashcam footage shared by the outlet showed the terrifying moment the pickup truck swerved into Thomas to avoid another vehicle on the bridge.

“He took my suspension out, which meant it didn’t matter which way I turned the wheel,” Thomas told the outlet. She recalled thinking, “This is it.”

“When I went through the railing, I was thinking, ‘Wow, this is crazy… to die like this,’ ” she continued, per the outlet. “I really thought I was about to die.”

“When it caught the bridge, I froze,” Thomas, who can't swim, went on. “I was thinking, ‘If it starts going, you’re going to have to move fast. Unbuckle that seat belt, open that door, and jump out because if not, you’re going to drown.’ ”

“I would rather drown trying to swim than be submerged underneath the water and not be able to get out,” she told the outlet.

Thomas, who prayed throughout the incident, was thinking about her son while hanging off the bridge, recalling, "It was really hard for me to think about leaving him behind on Earth."

After Carden got to her, Thomas finally eased out of the position she’d been frozen in and took her foot off the brake. She recalled, “[The truck] let out a loud bang."

“He was trying to make sure I’d stay calm, and I didn’t start doing anything that would compromise our safety,” she said of the firefighter.

<p>Louisville Metro Police Department/Facebook</p> Sydney Thomas' semi-truck over the side of the Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, Ky.

Louisville Metro Police Department/Facebook

Sydney Thomas' semi-truck over the side of the Clark Memorial Bridge in Louisville, Ky.

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Carden pulled Thomas through the window before firefighters lowered a harness from the bridge. It took them around five minutes to get back to the bridge, per the outlet.

“I have my moments, but God has me here for a reason,” Thomas said of experiencing anxiety following the crash. “I have to fulfill my purpose in life, and I can’t let something like that stop me from doing what I’m supposed to be doing for Him. He brought me out it, He doesn’t want me to live in fear the rest of my life, and I know that.”

Per WHAS11, ABC News, and WLOX, pickup truck driver Trevor Branham, 33, is facing a number of charges, including driving on a suspended license.

Louisville Metro Police Department didn't immediately respond when contacted by PEOPLE.

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