Christi Bowmer’s BMW 328i convertible took flight deep in the heart of Texas.
Bowmer was parking her car on the seventh floor of an Austin garage the morning of July 13, when the vehicle mistakenly accelerated, going through retention wires and into a building across the alley. Her car tumbled to the ground, where it landed nose-first and struck another vehicle before coming to a grinding stop.
“I went straight down, and I watched myself in slow motion,” Bowmer, 49, told the Austin American-Statesman. “I thought I was going to die.”
She nearly did. The Statesman reported that Bowmer broke her back, leg, ankle and sternum in the fall, and two arterial hemorrhages in her head threatened her life. William Burch was driving his Chevrolet Tahoe when Bowmer’s car hurtled to the ground and clipped his vehicle, the Statesman reported.
The video of the incident, containing no audio, was recently released by the Austin Police Department. In the surveillance video clip, Burch drives through the alley and executes a U-turn, heading in the opposite direction. He briefly stops just ahead of where the car impacts on the concrete, dropping forcefully onto Burch’s back end.
He was speaking to his mother on the phone, local station KXAN reported.
“I can just imagine what she was thinking when I had said, ‘a car just landed on me, I gotta go,’” Burch said. In the closing seconds of the video, bystanders can be seen rushing to lend assistance.
Bowmer is back to walking, but she cannot stand for long periods of time — leaving her husband Joe to pick up duties around the house in Cedar Park, an Austin suburb.
But it was not the only near-death incident at Littlefield Parking Garage on touristy 6th Street in downtown Austin.
In September, a man drove through five high-tension wires used as barriers and off the ninth floor of the garage. The wires wrapped around the wheels of the vehicle, leaving William O’Connor dangling from the garage for an hour before he was rescued, the Statesman reported.
Both incidents raised questions about the reliability of the cables as a a safety retention measure, and in the city’s ability to regulate safety in public garages — common fixtures in Austin’s booming growth. The owner of the garage has reinforced every parking spot near cables with plastic-filled barriers, the Statesman said.
Bowmer, who could not be reached by The Post, is looking to take legal action, though no suit has been filed yet, the paper said.