The mother of a 17-year-old girl who fell from a bus onto the freeway says it's "a miracle" her daughter was able to survive.
Charlotte Boyse, a senior at Corona del Mar High School in Newport Beach, was on a charter bus filled with students on their way to the prom about 7:20 p.m. Saturday, when she tumbled out a side window and onto the 73 Freeway, the California Highway Patrol said in a news release.
"She just remembered flying through the air, landing and rolling a bunch of times," her mother, Maria Boyse, said Monday.
Her shoes and phone were scattered on the highway. Somehow, Charlotte was able to avoid oncoming traffic and crawled to the median.
"She was just super lucky that there were no cars coming at that particular moment," Boyse said.
The girl's parents credit a couple of friends with trying to grab her as she fell, preventing her from falling head-first onto the pavement.
"The outcome could have been so much different," Boyse said.
The bus, chartered by parents to carry the 55 high school students from dinner to their prom in Mission Viejo, was traveling southbound on the freeway when a window seemingly popped open, Boyse said.
Officials did not say how fast the bus was traveling.
Boyse says other passengers on the bus yelled to the driver to tell her someone had fallen out, but the driver initially didn't believe them. About a half mile down the road, the driver pulled over to the shoulder.
"They couldn't see her," Boyse said. "They thought she was dead."
The bus driver didn't allow any of the students to get out of the bus, but a couple friends jumped out the window and ran back to find her.
By then, Boyse said, another motorist had already seen Charlotte and called 911.
She was taken to the hospital and treated for minor injuries, and several of her friends skipped the dance to stay with her.
The bus was delayed on the 73 Freeway for at least two hours before another bus from the school arrived to take the rest of the students to the prom.
Boyse says her daughter suffered a bruised tailbone, some cuts, and a serious road rash but is in "good spirits."
She was released from the hospital Sunday evening and is recovering at home.