An accident in Berks County certainly looked bad, but officials on the scene said it could easily have been much worse.
The crash was reported shortly after 2 p.m. Monday on the Warren Street Bypass -- Route 12 -- near the Spring Valley Road interchange in Muhlenberg Township.
The preliminary investigation, police said, shows that one car sideswiped another. The impact led the second car to strike the start of the center guardrail, causing the guardrail to go up over the hood, smash the windshield and pass through the entire car as it continued moving, officials said.
The sideswiped car eventually came to rest on the grassy median with the woman who was driving trapped inside and the guardrail resting on her shoulder.
"It's a miracle no one was decapitated," said Officer Chris Schearer, Muhlenberg Township Police Department.
Rescue crews had to peel back the roof of the car and cut the guardrail to free the driver, identified by police as Linda Delp. She was transported to the hospital with what officials on the scene described as serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
One of two passengers in the car was also injured and taken to the hospital, police said.
The driver of the car who caused the accident will be cited for traffic violations, said police, who noted that he is also in the country illegally, and his immigration status has been reported to federal authorities.
The Warren Street Bypass was closed in both directions for about an hour while crews worked the scene. The eastbound lanes reopened shortly after 3 p.m.; the westbound lanes were reopened by 3:30.