71-year-old woman survives 8-foot drain fall

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A 71-year-old Highland Falls woman is recovering at home after an 8-foot fall down a storm drain.Catherine Richardson says she was sweeping snow into the drain when she stepped on the drain cover and it gave way. According to Richardson, the cover wasn?t on the drain properly. She fell and landed at the bottom of the drain in about a foot of cold water.

She suffered a fractured rib and had a severe cut to her head, causing blood to stain a nearby curb. Neighbors who heard her cries for help came to her rescue. One of those neighbors, Bob Arietta, climbed down the drain to help her out.

"I would never in a million years wish anything that bad on anyone else," Richardson says. "It's good to be in your own surroundings," she said of her return home after a four-week hospital stay. She's relying on Medicare and secondary insurance to cover her medical bills.Her husband, David, says he's keeping a close eye on her now. Meanwhile, Richardson says she learned an important lesson: "Yeah, watch where you walk!"The Richardsons have not said whether they will sue over the placement of the storm drain cover. City crews inspected all drains after the incident.

For Richardson's extended interview, go to Channel 612 on your iO digital cable box and select iO Extra.

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