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On August 1, 2007, the Interstate 35W Bridge in Minneapolis collapsed beneath more than 140 commuters into the Mississippi River in a cloud of dust, smoke, and flame during the evening rush hour. Thirteen died.

When his car took a hundred-foot nosedive, former journalist Garrett Ebling was left with brain trauma, many broken bones, and a shattered face. Though he made a miraculous physical recovery, his relationships and emotional stability disintegrated. He clung to hope, and slowly but surely, he pulled himself back from the brink of despair, and discovered a new spirit: the spirit of a fighter.

Ebling tells the story that has been missing from the investigations and the political debates—the story of the survivors. Beyond the media clips, we learn firsthand of their triumphs and setbacks, from their hellish moments trapped underwater in cars and their PTSD flashbacks, to the long, slow march back from fear and pain to joy and life.