Family searching for daughter who jumped from moving car on I-80

A Centre County father whose 37-year-old daughter jumped from his moving car along I-80 Friday morning while on the way to Clarion for a mental health evaluation has made a plea for help in finding her.

William “Bill” Bachman of Julian and his wife, Nancy, along with their son, Will, created a website Friday and told the dramatic story of how their daughter, Susan, jumped from their car while it was traveling at an estimated 50 mph near DuBois.

Susan Bachman rolled a couple of times but was able to gain her feet and flee into the woods, the parents described.

State police later found her cellphone and wallet, minus its money, in a nearby barn.

Despite a July 4 search party of 30 volunteers, aided by bloodhounds and a helicopter, no trace of Susan Bachman has yet been found.

Bill Bachman said Saturday that privacy is usually the norm when families are faced with children who have “emotional problems,” but he said the family decided to go public with his daughter’s story because “the most important thing is to get her back and get her healthy.”

“We dearly love our daughter,” Mr. Bachman stated.

The news media, including newspapers and television, have published the story of Susan Bachman and according to her father, many people have responded to offer their help.

The young woman, shown as having red, or, “bright copper” hair and a hearty smile, is a native of Connecticut.

She began her college years at the University of Connecticut but transferred to Penn State where she graduated in 2000 with a degree in Life Science.

She then pursued a career in real estate and banking before deciding to go to nursing school. She graduated from the Altoona Hospital School of nursing in 2010 and worked as a registered nurse at UPMC Altoona.

Mental health issues surfaced at that point and for the past three years she has been living with her family.

Under Pennsylvania’s mental health laws, a person can be involuntarily committed for mental health issues, but the family decided against an involuntary commitment, said Bill Bachman, because that type of action can bar the client from employment in some situations.

Susan Bachman agreed instead to a voluntary commitment at the Clarion Psychiatric Center, but apparently had misgivings about her decision as she, her mother and father were traveling west toward Clarion.

She called her brother during the trip, and then just after 8 a.m. Friday, as the Bachman vehicle was traveling between 60 mph and 65 mph, she reached for the door handle. Bill Bachman said he was able to slow the vehicle to about 50 mph and at the same time tried to stop his daughter from opening the door.