Woman Missing 4 Days Found in 'Miracle' at Canyon Floor

72-year-old Penny Clark of Idaho rescued Saturday near Melba
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 12, 2023 11:30 AM CST
Missing 4 Days, She Had Plunged Into Canyon
Rescuers approach Penny Clark's vehicle, stuck in a ravine, on Saturday.   (Canyon County Sheriff's Office)

For four long days, 72-year-old Penny Clark sat with her damaged car, which had traveled some 200 yards into a canyon, unable to climb out. Thankfully, she was discovered Saturday after two campers spotted the vehicle near the Canyon County village of Melba and called police, believing it might be linked to a missing person report, per USA Today. Clark had been reported missing Dec. 5 from Nampa, about 15 miles away, after she failed to return home from an errand, per the Idaho Statesman. After deputies used binoculars to confirm the presence of the car and of Clark, seated about 40 feet below the vehicle, Idaho Mountain Search and Rescue members hiked in. They then spent two hours carrying Clark up out of the canyon, where she received "advanced medical attention," according to a release.

Clark's vehicle "appeared to have gone partway down the canyon wall at the south end of Rim Rd," per KIVI. "This is frankly one of the most miraculous incidents that I can recall in all my years in law enforcement and it's a true testament to the strength and fortitude of Penny Clark," said Sheriff Kieran Donahue. "The medics who evaluated her on scene believe that she had been there for at least a couple of days, and more than likely since Tuesday when her family last had contact with her." Nampa Police noted Clark was "conscious and alert and talking to rescuers." As of Saturday, she was being treated for injuries at a local hospital, the sheriff's office said, without disclosing what those injuries were. "It's truly a miracle, and I'm hopeful that she makes a full recovery," said Donahue. (More rescue stories.)

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