Police have released security-camera video showing the July 13 plunge of a woman in a BMW sedan off the seventh floor of a notorious parking garage in Austin, Texas — notorious because this is the second such crash there in less than a year.

The video shows the car hit the pavement nose-first, clipping the rear of another vehicle as it comes to rest in the alley of the garage at 508 Brazos Street in downtown Austin. The woman driving the BMW survived but was seriously injured. Bystanders came to her assistance until medics arrived.

Last September, William O'Connor's 4Runner plunged off the top ninth floor of the garage and was left dangling midair, held in place by the cables that should have prevented him from going over the edge in the first place.

"You know that you're about to die," O'Connor said. "I feel like whenever I describe it, the words I'm using are inadequate to describe just the sheer terror.

"As I was falling, there were thoughts going through my head, like, 'I can't believe this is how I'm dying,'" he told the American-Statesman and KVUE-TV.

Here is the newspaper's account of the latest crash, along with its account of O'Connor's fall and his rescue from the dangling SUV by a passer-by. Video of that incident appears below.

From news accounts, it sounds like the garage clearly has concrete parking curbs — and five half-inch-wide steel cables, spaced 8-9 inches apart. Each cable is said to be rated to hold a 6,000-pound static load — no word on what the math is on a moving vehicle. Also, the structure is 38 years old, so the cables have been exposed to the elements. The newspaper cited a local engineer who said such cables stretch out of shape over time.

Austin police Cpl. Chris Carlisle told the American-Statesman said that unlike the O'Connor crash in which the cables broke, in the latest incident the car somehow "went through the wires. They're still there."

A spokesman for the garage company said that after the September crash, the company hired a structural engineer to inspect the safety systems and make repairs, which the city inspected and certified. City inspectors, however, say they have no record of that — but say they're going to take a hard look now.


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