Whoever says good things come in small packages hasn’t met Ulanda Williams. Williams, who is 32 years old and tips the scales at 400 pounds, claims she owes her life to her hefty girth.
The New York Post reports that Williams was standing at a bus stop on Second Avenue in New York when she felt the earth move. The sidewalk buckled and gave way under her feet, and she plunged into the resulting hole – but not as far as she would have plunged had she been afflicted with a trimmer waistline.
She fell about 6 feet, but then hit the wall, literally. She became ensconced in a smaller hole in the concrete, sealing it like a stopper in a bottle.
“It was horrible, absolutely horrible,” said Williams, who broke her arm in two places and suffered bruises and cuts on her face and neck. But it could have horribler, she acknowledges. “Thank God, my size was the only thing that saved me.”
The FDNY had to use a crane and cargo net to haul her to safety. She was then taken to New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she was treated for her injuries and later released.
The City Department of Buildings inspected the damaged site and found that a 4-by-6-foot section of sidewalk had collapsed into a vault cellar. Further investigation revealed defective steel doors leading to the vault. In addition, a first-floor staircase was loose.
The owner of the building at 60th Street was issued a violation for failing to maintain the property.
The Post quotes Frank Lupo, a maintenance worker who lives in the adjacent building, as observing that the fall could easily have been fatal. “It doesn’t look it from street level, but that’s one hell of a drop,” he said. “I’m glad she’s alive.”
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