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      Car goes over Lover's Leap

      Photo Credit: Photo by: Rajah Maples

      It was a scene right out of the movie, "Thelma and Louise" in Hannibal Wednesday afternoon.

      Only the two women in the real-life version didn't mean to drive off the cliff, and they lived to tell about it.

      It all started around 4 p.m.

      Witnesses say they were observing the beautiful sites of the river from Lover's Leap.

      When all of a sudden, they heard a loud crash, and saw a car drive over the cliff.

      This was the site of the car driven by 78-year-old Ruth Hart of Milan, Illinois. She and a passenger, 67-year-old Nancy Strohl of Rock Island were trapped in it upside down for about an hour after their car crashed through two fences and over the cliff of Lover's Leap.

      Hart said, "I accidentally hit the gas feed instead of the brake."

      Did you think you were going to die?

      Hart answered, "Well, I didn't know. If that tree hadn't have stopped us, I don't know. I'm mad at myself for hitting the gas."

      Hart is originally from Palmyra. Strohl hadn't been to this neck of the woods for about 40 years. The two women told KHQA they had been trying to visit this area together for some time. Now, it's a visit they won't ever forget.

      Strohl said, "I thought we were going to go all the way down, but the tree stopped us, and I was thankful there were people up here to call for help. We could hear sirens within a few minutes, and I knew we were going to be rescued. They were wonderful.

      Both women said angels were watching over them Wednesday, not to mention a couple from Jefferson City who witnessed the fall and called for help.

      Harlan and Carla Engelbrecht said, "We were just going to sightsee with some friends, and were sitting here chatting, and all of a sudden, the car went through the rail and down over the edge of the bluff. We were just thankful we were here, and that they're okay."

      The women said they feel fine now, just shaky and a little embarrassed. Following their rescue, crews were able to pull Hart's car up using cables and this tow truck.