Posted on May 12, 2006
'It is lucky that I am alive,' model declares
BY NICOLE BODE and ADAM NICHOLS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS
Her million-dollar face covered in gauze, model Tatyana Simanava charged yesterday there was no sign on the bus exit door she mistook for a bathroom, sending her tumbling onto a Brooklyn highway.
"I am not angry, but I would like that there are some changes made, that nothing like this can happen again," the Belarus-born beauty said from her Mount Sinai Medical Center bed.
"I am sure that ... the exit doors have to be locked and they have to be marked. There were no signs."
Simanava, 21, who lives in Chelsea, fell onto the Gowanus Expressway Tuesday while traveling to a bridal-modeling gig on a luxury bus leased from Hoboken-based company On Time Elite.
Linda Safir, On Time Elite's founder, said, "I think that [the doors] are marked. "I'm very confused as to how she could have done this."
Dressed in a hospital gown and surrounded by vases full of flowers, Simanava recounted a quite different story.
"I asked where the bathroom was and I was told it's down the stairs, there's a door," she said.
"I opened the first door I saw, and I don't remember anything after that. My friends told me the bus driver saw me fall.
"Everybody said it is lucky that I am alive."
Simanava, who was discovered by talent spotters in Belarus five years ago, suffered heavy bruising to her right arm - but, miraculously, no broken bones.
Her face was covered in gauze yesterday, with only her nose, lips and heavily swollen right eye visible.
She said her jaw was so beaten she has been unable to chew any food.
But she added her battered appearance was only temporary.
"I will get better, and I'm told there will be no scars," she said.
"[Doctors] said I may go home this weekend. I feel very hopeful, grateful that people care about me, and very lucky. I just want to get well soon and come back to work."
She conceded her return to the fashion world could be a few months away.
"For a great picture, I have to look perfect," she said.
Originally published on May 12, 2006