Woman Survives 5 Days in Forest After Truck Plummets Off Cliff


A woman survived for nearly a week in Angeles National Forest after her pickup truck plummeted 200 feet down a cliff face. The unidentified victim spent five days stranded on famously treacherous Mount Baldy after she crashed her Ford Ranger whilst swerving to avoid a deer, NBC Los Angeles and CBS Los Angeles reported.

She was found on Sunday after a hiker happened to spot her truck in the ravine. Rescuers responding to the scene found the woman still inside the cabin of her truck. She’d been unable to escape due to damage dealt to the vehicle, and had no cell phone signal to call for help. Rescuers heralded her survival as nothing short of a miracle, considering the remarkably windy and wet conditions during the five days she was trapped.

“It’s been extremely cold and wet, as we’re all aware, with the rain and the colder temperatures in the month of January,” Matt Brossard, of the U.S. Forest Service, told NBC. “She’s lucky that somebody was going for a hike and found her.”

Los Angeles County Fire Department Captain Ian Thrall agreed, telling CBS that cases such as this rarely have a positive outcome. “Most of the time they don’t survive because it’s pretty steep terrain,” he explained.

After she was extricated from the vehicle, the woman was airlifted to a local hospital. Though her condition is currently unknown, rescuers confirmed that she was alert and able to speak when they found her.

Thrall revealed to CBS that, despite serving on dozens of rescue missions throughout his career, this case was by far the most astounding. “It’s been very cold up there and it’s been rainy. Temperatures have been in the 30s at night,” he marveled. “No one saw her go over the side, no evidence of tire tracks or anything on the road or on the side of the road. So, she was very lucky they happened to come by and hear her.”

Officials warn drivers heading into Angeles National Forest, or similar areas, that accidents such as this one are unfortunately quite common. “Driving too fast for your current conditions and not being familiar with the roadway is a big factor in a lot of the accidents. Her surviving [the ordeal], not only just the accident but also the elements, is a New Year’s miracle,” Brossard told NBC.

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