Woman survives on car radiator water for a week after crash in California

‘My sister survived 7 days alone 200ft down a cliff on HW1. This is very traumatic and will be a slow recovery process’

Rescuers in helmets are visible in the small bay in Big Sur, California, where a stranded woman was found by hikers
Rescuers in helmets are visible in the small bay in Big Sur, California, where a stranded woman was found by hikers

A woman who disappeared a week ago was rescued from the bottom of a California coastal cliff where she survived by drinking water from the radiator of her wrecked 4x4 vehicle, authorities said on Saturday.

Angela Hernandez, 23, of Portland, Oregon, was found by a pair of hikers on Friday evening after they saw the remains of her Jeep Patriot partially submerged at the bottom of a 200ft cliff in the Big Sur area, according to Monterey County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Thornburg.

Ms Hernandez’s disappearance captured widespread attention after she was last seen on CCTV at a gas station in Carmel on 6 July, about 50 miles north of the stretch of motorway where she was found.

The hikers discovered Ms Hernandez conscious with a shoulder injury, Mr Thornburg said.

Rescuers managed to get her up the cliff and to a helicopter which flew her to a nearby hospital.

She was in a stable condition but appeared to have suffered a concussion during the collision, the California Highway Patrol said in a statement.

Ms Hernandez told investigators she swerved to avoid hitting an animal on Highway 1 on 6 July and plunged over the cliff north of Nacimiento Fergusson Road.

She stayed alive “by drinking water from the radiator of her vehicle,” according to the Highway Patrol.

“It’s usually the fall that gets them, or the ocean that gets them, and she was lucky to survive both,” said Mr Thornburg.

Ms Hernandez was travelling from her home in Portland to visit her sister Isabel in Lancaster, Los Angeles County, when she crashed.

“My sister survived 7 days alone 200ft down a cliff on HW1,” her sister Isabel Hernandez said in a Facebook post on Saturday. “This is very traumatic and will be a slow recovery process.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in