Angela Hernandez posted a detailed account of her survival after the crash.
UNITED STATES.- An Oregon woman who was badly injured and stranded for a week after her Jeep plunged 250 feet over a cliff into the ocean near Big Sur in California says she survived by drinking fresh water dripping from moss until she was rescued by a couple hiking along the beach.
From her hospital bed, 23-year-old Angela Hernandez posted a detailed account Sunday night on Facebook of her survival after the crash.
The Portland woman said she spent each day walking the isolated stretch of beach, searching for help, and was unable to make her way back up to the highway.
She said she had a brain hemorrhage, collapsed lung, broken ribs and collarbones, and severe sunburn.
“For her to survive for seven days on the coast with waves crashing over you at times, with injuries that she had, is amazing,”Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal said. “She was a fighter. She had the will to survive and I think most people in that situation probably wouldn’t have lasted that long.”
Hernandez had been driving to her sister’s home in Lancaster, near Los Angeles, on July 6 when a small animal crossed in front of her, causing her to swerve and lose control of her car, she wrote.
“The only thing I really remember after that was waking up. I was still in my car and I could feel water rising over my knees. My head hurt and when I touched it, I found blood on my hands.”
She said she broke a window of her car, jumped into the ocean and swam ashore. She fell asleep on the beach and realized what had happened after she woke up. Her shoulders, hips, back and thighs were radiating pain and all she could see was the cliff, rocks and ocean.
“People don’t normally survive plunges down the Big Sur coast like this. She is very lucky,” Bernal said.
In the days that followed, Hernandez walked the beach searching for help, climbing on rocks to avoid sharp sand and walking on the shore to get away from hot rocks, she said. “I found a high spot I was able to climb up to and found myself there almost every day,” Hernandez wrote.