– I was sure I was going to die, the 24-year-old tells NRK.
On the morning of August 15 last year, the newly qualified teacher was at Aurvoll School to meet her students for the first day of school. Ahead of her, a lorry drives over to Tretton Prue, who follows in her car.
It all happened so quickly, but today she remembers it like it was in slow motion. Suddenly the lorry disappeared straight down and the asphalt was completely gone under the car she was sitting on.
Inside the car compartment, she is tossed from side to side before the vehicle comes to rest on its front end in the foaming waters of the Gutbrandsthallegen.
She couldn’t imagine what had happened. The entire bridge collapsed.
– She says that the only thought I had then was that now I am going to drown.
– Struggling with pain
It has been almost ten months since the tragic accident. She was able to go to work every day after the incident.
But both the memories and the physical pain are still there, she says.
– I still struggle with pain today. It is present in the neck, back and head. I have headaches almost every day. It’s not optimal, it’s not. But I have been seeing a physiotherapist every two weeks and following up with my doctor, he says.
Immediately after the incident, she had many ideas about what had happened. It was hard to understand what she was getting herself into.
He appreciates the support he received from family and friends. And she thinks she has a good following from employers in the municipality of Tredton and Coastal, where she lives.
Temporary iron bridge
A new, temporary steel bridge at Treton is soon to be ready. It shall have only one path and shall be light regulated at each end.
Anders Fosse Skjåk, construction manager in Innlandet County, says it’s not long until the bridge opens.
– We hope to open in late June. It is a bridge made up of various steel blocks. It’s a building block where you can build parts as often as you need. Cars will have one lane, he says, separated by separate sidewalks.
Can you now guarantee that this bridge is very safe to use?
– It is designed and built according to normal manual requirements. So it is like a normal bridge.
He says the dimensions of the bridge are suitable for use by large trucks and vehicles.
– I’m afraid
Mari Slan says she is still depressed today and finds it “disgusting” to be near the bridge in Tretton. She lives in Coastal and now has to make a huge detour through Lillehammer to get to and from work at Aurvoll School.
So she will try to use the new, temporary bridge when it is ready.
– I’m afraid, I do. But not the bridge that wins me over. I can walk and I can drive.
He says some of the children at the school were very scared after the accident. Some of them even saw what happened. And many students like her will have to use the new bridge.
Not because of this, it’s important that she gets back to work quickly.
– I was pretty sure I’d come back and explain the day after the accident, and it went well. Then, like most kids, they had a thousand questions, Mari says.
Has your life changed in any way since this happened?
– Yes. I’m probably happier with life. I appreciate things now more than ever. And I really appreciate my family and friends who were there for me, she says.
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