Local woman’s car careens off mountain road, Survives to tell her story


ARCATA, Calif. (KIEM)-An Arcata woman says, she credits God and a Good Samaritan for making it out alive, after her vehicle careened 40 feet down the side of a mountain road last week. 

Jill Bottger will never look at Fickle Hill Road in Arcata the same way again.

“That’s not my car, my car is under that car and when I went over, that car landed on top of mine,” she said. “So it was foggy that night and dark and I had passed our mailbox, and nothing looked familiar looked familiar to me.

“I’m driving and I’m driving, then I’m thinking, where am I? Then all of sudden, I hit this curve right here and flew over.”

According to Bottger, she rolled over once -she hit her head but says, besides that she sustained no scratches or bruises.

 “I got out of the car and started crawling this way, and again I prayed for an angel, because I was walking the wrong way,” she said. “I had lost my shoes, lost my cell phone.”

Dianna Hardwick says, her mom’s angel was a young lady name Mckenzi, she happened to be headed to her grandmother’s home in Kneedland, and crossed paths with Bottger.

“I was pretty surprised to hear that she rolled her car over it, and climbed up it and managed to flag someone down and get home,” said Hardwick.  

“She saved me,” said Bottger. “She took me home.”

Fickle Hill Road is Fickle, it’s notorious for its sharp curves, according to Kashi Albertsen, who commutes on that road daily.

“I don’t’ know anything about people going off the side,” she said. “I believe it though, it’s pretty windy.” 

“It could be better marked but you got to realize all mountain country roads aren’t going to be well marked,” said Hardwick. “So, you have to be smart, and careful.”

For now, she’s hoping a guard rail is installed in the near future.  

Both Hardwick and her mom are thankful Mckenzie decided to make the trip to Kneeland – at that time- on that day and had a message for her.  

“You were an angel heaven sent for us, for our family,” said Hardwick. “Thank you for bringing her home safe.”   

 “God is good to me,” said Bottger. “God protects me.”

Bottger’s SUV is expected to be removed from the crash location sometime this week, the owner of the black car from a previous, unrelated crash, is unknown.