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?