Maria Georgas got vulnerable with Joey Graziadei on the Tuesday, February 13, episode of The Bachelor. The fiery contestant let Joey see past her “rough” exterior as she opened up about one of the most traumatic times in her life.

“[My mom] and I got into a really, really bad car accident when I was, like, one,” Maria, 29, explained. “A semi truck basically fell on top of my mom’s car. It was really bad. It’s crazy to even think about. My car seat was in, like, pieces. I was literally announced dead at the scene. It was in newspapers as a miracle at the time. It was a very scary situation.”

The executive assistant told Joey, 28, that the accident led her mom to go into a “big depression” after she broke almost every bone in her body. “Being a young age, I didn’t recognize or understand any of that,” she admitted. “My mom wasn’t around for most of my childhood. [She] wasn’t capable of being the mother she really wanted to.”

Years later, Maria’s relationship with her mom is still strained. “When I was younger, I didn’t really understand why my mom left,” she said. “She wasn’t around for me. She just wasn’t around.” The Canada native credited her father with “fighting” for her mom during those difficult times.

“My mom and I are still a work in progress,” she added. “It’s been so much better. She thought you were so cute and she’s going to be excited to hopefully meet you.”

Joey was grateful that Maria opened up to him and he gave her the group date rose after their conversation. It was an important moment for the reality television contestant, as she’s been at the center of drama during her time on the show. On the Monday, February 12, episode, Maria was even put on an awkward two-on-one date with Sydney Gordon following their feud the previous week.

the bachelors maria recalls nearly dying in car accident

The drama between Maria and Sydney, 28, began when Sydney called Maria out for “invalidating” Madina Alam’s feelings about being the oldest woman on the show. Things intensified and were eventually brought to Joey’s attention. He wound up eliminating Sydney because he felt like his connection with Maria was stronger.

After opening up about her near-fatal car accident, Maria told Joey why the drama on the show has upset her so much. “[The car accident] was very tragic and for me, I came out alive,” she explained. “I don’t have anything to complain about. I have what I have and I’m going to really cherish every moment that I have and have so much fun. I don’t entertain stupid little fights. I’m not someone who dwells on things that might have happened. I always try to see the positive in things because I know how quickly things can change for somebody.”

Maria is now one of ten women left hoping to fall in love with Joey. Their journey continues with the next episode of The Bachelor on February 20 at 8 p.m.