400-Pound Woman Who Fell Through Sidewalk Thinks Being Obese Saved Her Life (VIDEO)

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sidewalk collapse

It sounds more like a scene out of some juvenile Will Ferrell movie than reality. But what happened to Ulanda Williams as she walked down the street was no joke. The 400-pound woman fell through an NYC sidewalk. She had been seeking shelter from the rain underneath the awning of an Atomic Wings restaurant when the concret buckled and she plummeted seven feet into a basement. “I was standing there approximately 10 seconds and when that occurred, I just fell right through,” she told the New York Post. "It was horrible, absolutely horrible." They had to use a crane to lift her to the surface. But that isn't even the most jaw-dropping detail in the story.

Ulanda suffered a broken arm, cut, and bruises, and she says her injuries would have been much, much worse had she not been so big. She actually credits her girth with saving her life. "Thank God, they said that my size was the only thing that saved me," she said as she was discharged from the hospital. Is it just me or is she missing the bigger point here. Had she not been 400 pounds, she probably wouldn't have fallen through the sidewalk in the first place.

Don't get me wrong. I sympathize with Ulanda. This was a very scary, very dangerous accident. She had no warning what was about to occur. “It happened so instantly that I didn’t even recognize anything," she explained. "Cement was all over me, debris. They had a bed frame down there, broken pipes, and wood pieces. It was a hollow place.”

Of course officials are investigating how and why this happened. Clearly the sidewalks of NYC should be a lot stronger than that. But there is still cause for concern over Williams' health. Weak concrete aside, obesity is a very deadly condition. With that weight comes a higher risk of type-2 diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, stroke, and heart disease. Of course losing weight is far from easy, but the benefits far outweigh riding out the rest of your life with those health risks. Yes, her extra size may have broken her fall, but this should also be a wake-up call to get healthier overall.

See rescue workers excavate Williams:


Do you think her size really helped her survive the fall?

eating healthy, obesity


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nonmember avatar Cass

Sounds like fat-shaming to me. Unless the report comes back and says that it was only because of her weight that the sidewalk collapsed, then it's not her fault. If she wants to be at that weight, it's none of our business. I assure you, she knows about all of the damaging side effects of obesity- she likely can't take a step without being lectured.

mande... manderspanders

What if 2 or 3 "skinny" women were huddling for cover on that same patch of sidewalk? It wouldn't have collapsed under their weight?  Or in your world only 400lb women can make concrete sidewalks buckle.

I can't believe you are allowed to post this discriminatory bullshit.

Fat people know they are fat. It isn't up to you to degrade them, punish them, shame them or otherwise.

This was a horrible accident, and it shouldn't have happened to anyone, regardless of size.


nonmember avatar Mal Pearce

Idk. My boyfriend and I combined are almost 400 pounds, what if we were standing there together. Different story. 400 is not a huge amount of weight to make cement collapse!! What if I were moving furniture out of my apartment. I don't think u can blame an obese person for breaking the sidewalk. There was something wron there.

nonmember avatar Stephanie.r.e

I was going to say pretty much the same thing manderspanders. So if a few girls or men stood there it still would have happened. They need to fix their sidewalks. And bigger people know they're big. Worry about your weight. It was unnecessary to bring her weight into in the way you did. If she chooses to use this to lose weight, great. If not who the hell cares?! It does t effect you or anyone BUT her. It's weird to me that people get so concerned with others weight. Big or small. If you don't like a persons size don't be their friend but it doesn't effect you at all.

dirti... dirtiekittie

wow. this woman survives what could have been a fatal (that means deadly, ericka souter) fall that would have possibly killed someone smaller. and you're shaming her for her weight. i hope if you ever fall through a weak floor nobody ever laughs at you and tells you to lose weight! you come across like a real jerk in this one.


Mommi... MommietoJB

Get real. This wasnt a few in a group together, this was ONE 400 pound woman. One person should never way that much, instead of this being a wake up call for her to take control of her weight, im sure she will sue the city. I dont care whether she loses the weight or not but if the obese epidemic keeps growing like this we will have to make all types of special accomodations.

nonmember avatar Shandeigh

wow. what a mean-spirited article. So if 4 one hundred pound models were standing there and died it would've been perfectly fine because they weren't fat. nice.

nonmember avatar April

Yeah...special accomodations like, I don't know, a sidewalk that doesn't collapse?

nonmember avatar nonmem

If multiple skinnier people were standing on there, the weight would be dispersed and balanced on the faulty sidewalk. ONE person weighing 400 pounds puts a lot of pressure on weak structure. The MAIN issue is a sidewalk that crumbles, but her weight was a factor as well.

dirti... dirtiekittie

for those who are saying it was a single woman's weight, this is taken directly from the original article and explains why the sidewalk was weak:

City Department of Buildings inspectors found that a 4-by-6-foot section of sidewalk had collapsed into a vault cellar in front of the building.

Further investigation revealed defective steel doors leading to the vault, and a first-floor staircase was loose.

The building at 301 E. 60th St., at the corner of Second Avenue near a ramp to the 59th Street Bridge, has several open violations, according to the DOB Web site, including a 2011 complaint that the facade was coming loose.

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