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Published: Wed, July 18, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Woman Survives 7 Days After SUV Plunges Off Cliff in Big Sur

Woman Survives 7 Days After SUV Plunges Off Cliff in Big Sur

The woman plunged some 200 feet down a cliff on California's iconic Highway 1.

The next few days were a monotonous slog for Hernandez, who ritualistically scanned the beach for people and potential places to make her way up the cliff.

Ms Hernandez had been travelling from OR to Southern California to visit sister Isabel when her communication suddenly stopped.

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

Her mysterious disappearance sparked a major search as her frantic family awaited news, and a $10,000 reward was offered for information. The search in Monterey County was hampered on some days by heavy fog, which made air searches hard or impossible, the sheriff's department said on Twitter.

Hernandez, who had been missing since July 6, was taken by helicopter to a hospital, according to a Facebook post by the sheriff's office late Friday.

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".

By the third day, she made her way back to her wrecked auto, found a 10-inch radiator hose and eventually used it and her hands to collect water.

With her sister nowhere in sight, Hernandez said she instead focused on getting out of her Jeep and ultimately jumped into the Pacific Ocean before swimming to shore and falling asleep.

Angela Hernandez posed with her Jeep.

A GoFundMe account has been set up by her sister.

"I'm so happy", Angela's sister Isabel Hernandez said in a video posted to Facebook.

"Angela was right there in the rocks, just looked like hell", Chad Moore told KOIN. "She was with a man and I don't think they could believe their eyes. Just one person noticing me". "Her socks were in scraps" and she was shoeless, Moore said. "Most people in that situation probably wouldn't have lasted that long, but she was a fighter and she had the will to live".

"We freakin' love that beach and we're so glad she's alive", Chelsea Moore said Monday as she described the afternoon last Friday when she and her husband found 23-year-old Angela Hernandez of Portland. "And then came around another bend and we saw the auto", said Chelsea Moore. "But she was happy at the same time". I took off my seatbelt and found a multi-tool I kept near my front seat. She later used the hose to corral water dripping from moss into her mouth.

"When I sat up, I saw a woman walking across the shore", she wrote. "It's not going to be an easy recovery". At one point she managed to climb just high enough to see cars driving above, and each day she would return to that vantage point. "We ran to Angela and we all just kind of collapsed to our knees as we tried to figure out what just happened".

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