'Pretty Lucky' Woman Rescued After Truck Falls 200 Feet

Driver rescued after 4 days after truck plummets off cliff in California's Angeles National Forest
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 8, 2024 12:10 PM CST
After Car Plummets Off Cliff, a 'New Year's Miracle'
Stock photo of a location near Mount Baldy.   (Getty Images/trekandshoot)

A woman in Southern California has some hikers to thank for being alive after her vehicle veered off the road and off a mountain cliff in Angeles National Forest. Per the East Bay Times, a hiking group spotted a Ford Ranger pickup truck around 12:30pm local time on Sunday in a canyon near Mount Baldy, with NBC News noting the vehicle had fallen more than 200 feet. The woman, who was still able to speak when rescued, told authorities she'd been driving north on Wednesday when she swerved to avoid hitting a deer and tumbled over the cliff. Damage to her truck was great, and she was surrounded by "thick brush and [a] treacherous landscape" that made it impossible for her to climb out of the canyon, per CBS News.

"Most of the time they don't survive because it's pretty steep terrain," says Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Ian Thrall. The woman also had no cellphone reception where she was trapped and so couldn't call for help. Exacerbating things was the fact that it had been "extremely cold and wet," Engine Capt. Matt Brossard of the US Forest Service tells NBC. It's not clear what injuries the woman suffered—Fred Fielding of the LAFD tells the Times that the woman was taken to a local hospital and is said to be in stable condition.

But a deputy with the LAFD notes that someone in that position could be at risk of hypothermia and suffering from malnourishment and dehydration, in addition to any injuries they may have incurred. "She's pretty lucky," Thrall tells CBS. Brossard tells NBC that "her surviving it, not only just the accident, but also the elements, is a new year's miracle." (More survivors stories.)

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