A cyclist somehow survived falling off a route so fraught with danger that it is nicknamed Death Road, after she landed on a tiny ledge. Maria With Hoen, who comes from Norway, was taking part in a cycle expedition along the road in the Bolivia, which looks down on the Amazon rain forest.
However, when she hit a rock, the 21 year old lost control and flew over the edge of the 300 ft cliff. Horrified members of her group thought that she must surely be dead, but she had actually landed 25 ft down on a small ledge.
Rushed to hospital
Paramedics rushed to the scene and took her to hospital where she was diagnosed with a broken back, which needed immediate surgery, or she could be paralysed for life. Medics managed to put her spine back together, but her injuries were so severe that she was left unable to move for months.
However, following two years of intense physical therapy and two more operations, Maria is starting to recover. She said that when she went over the edge, she had accepted that she was going to die because she could see a huge drop straight to the bottom of the cliff. She has now been able to start running again, and has even been skiing since her fall.
Death Road results in around 300 deaths every year, but still provides a huge draw for adrenaline junkie tourists. A new road has been built, which means most cars choose not to drive the route, which is actually called Yungas Road, but on the day of Marie’s accident, the second route was closed and Death Road was busier than usual with traffic. Her group was told to keep to the left, where there was a sheer drop, so that cars could pass them on the inside.