Woman thanks ‘angels in uniform’ on anniversary of car crash

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PELHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Cindy Brayman is a walking, talking miracle. She describes herself as a woman of faith. She says that she is blessed. If you’ve seen the way her Honda looked in the moments after it sped off of a ravine on I-65 Southbound last year, you would probably agree.

image courtesy: Pelham Police Department

On Nov. 9, 2018, Brayman was on her way from work to a date night with her husband. She was on a call with her 9-year-old son when she started seizing. Brayman still doesn’t know what caused it. Her son was listening as her car ran off the road.

Brayman doesn’t really remember anything until about four weeks later when she was in rehab. Her husband filled her in on the details of what happened.

“She rode parallel to I-65, the best we could tell there was no braking,” explained Officer Matt Harnden with Pelham’s Traffic Homicide Unit. “She finally went airborne and hit a tree about 15 feet in the air–catching through her door, through the roof of the car, and then onto her.”

When Harnden and Sgt. Jeremy Eddy got to the scene, they didn’t really think there was much hope. “When I saw the vehicle, and I’ve seen a lot of accidents in my career, I said, there’s no way anybody’s alive in that vehicle,” said Eddy. “It was just too mangled.”

Eddy and Harnden helped pump air into Brayman’s lungs and assisted firefighters with getting her up the steep embankment to the awaiting ambulance. Eddy explained that a lot of times, that’s where their time with the victim ends.

“We’re just kind of left in the wind a lot of times,” he said. “We’re the person, sometimes the last person, that sees that person draw their last breath. It’s not supposed to affect us, because we’re police officers, but it does. After doing this for over 20 years, it affects you when you don’t know. So when you come upon a situation like this, and you find out that the person is still fighting, you want to try to be a part of it.”

Eddy and Harnden went to the hospital. They visited with Brayman’s family and befriended her husband. They prayed over her in the ICU. They continued to check in.

“People need to know this, you know?” said Brayman. “Yes, I had an accident. Yes, it was major. But there’s more to what they do than what they did for me. In my letter, I did say that they are my angels in uniform and that is the truth. That is what they are and what they will always be. They’re my heroes.”

Brayman said that she was astonished and touched that the officers would continue to look in after her, long after her accident. She made a miraculous recovery, and was home in time for Christmas.

They reunited at her home in Chelsea at her husband’s invitation. “We were there that night for a reason,” said Eddy. “Now she’s here for a reason. We don’t necessarily know what that reason it–that any of us are here, but I’m glad we could all figure it out together.”


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