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(SKY NEWS) – A woman who crashed off a coastal cliff in California survived for a week by drinking radiator water from her written-off car.
Angela Hernandez, from Oregon, was found by hikers on Friday evening after they saw the wreckage of her SUV partially submerged at the bottom of a 200ft (61m) cliff in the Big Sur area.
The 23-year-old had been missing for seven days – and her disappearance had received widespread attention.
She and her car were last seen on a CCTV camera at a petrol station on 6 July, 50 miles north of where she was found.
Ms Hernandez was conscious when she was discovered by Chad and Chelsea Moore, although she had sustained a shoulder injury.
Rescuers got her to the top of the cliff, where a helicopter flew her to hospital.
She was in a fair and stable condition but appeared to have suffered a concussion, the California Highway Patrol said.
Ms Hernandez told investigators she had swerved to avoid an animal when she was driving along California’s Highway 1, and plunged over the cliff edge.
She stayed alive by drinking the water from the radiator of her Jeep Patriot, the Highway Patrol said.
Monterey County Sheriff’s Office spokesman John Thornburg said: “It’s usually the fall that gets them, or the ocean that gets them, and she was lucky to survive both.”
Ms Hernandez’s sister Isabel updated friends online, posting: “My sister survived seven days alone 200ft down a cliff on HW1.
“A couple found her lying there and immediately called for help. She says she met so many beautiful people for her rescue and help bringing her up the cliff.
“In her accident, she has lost everything. Including her car, which was her livelihood.
“This is very traumatic and will be a slow recovery process.”
Ms Hernandez had been travelling from Oregon to Southern California to visit sister Isabel when her communication suddenly stopped.
Sheriffs said she had told her sister she would stay overnight in a car park before continuing her journey the next morning, but they had not heard from her after 6 July.
The family had set up a GoFundMe page to pay for some of the search efforts, including helping them with hotel stays and petrol.
The money raised is now to be donated to Ms Hernandez, her sister said.
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