Catherine Crowder, 52, was driving east on Interstate 40 around 11 a.m. when witnesses say they saw her hanging on the side of her door and jumping out her car at 65 mph.
With no one behind the wheel, the car kept going for another quarter of a mile without hitting any other vehicles, police said, before it landed in some woods near the interstate.
Police also said vehicles swerved to avoid hitting Crowder and that some witnesses who had stopped to help blocked her from traffic with their vehicles.
Dianne Wagner, a nurse, helped keep Crowder stable until emergency assistance arrived.
"She had scrapes and abrasions and her head was bleeding," Wagner said. "I worried about her the whole way home "
Police are still investigating what happened that caused Crowder to fall from her car on a busy interstate. Two lanes had to be closed as crews worked to clear the scene. All lanes were reopened to traffic around noon.
Crowder is listed in serious condition at Duke Medical Center.
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