Two days after surviving a plane crash in the “craggy, thickly forested mountains” of Washington state, a teenage girl walked out of the woods and was found by a motorist on Monday, ABC affiliate KOMO reports.
Search crews have been scouring the expected path of a Beech 35 carrying Autumn Veatch, 16, and her step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, since it fell out of radar contact on Saturday during a flight from Kalispell, Montana to Lynden, Washington and was presumed to have crashed.
Veatch was found on State Route 20 in an area known as Easy Pass and brought to a general store in nearby Mazama, where employees called 911. She spent Monday night in Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster being treated for dehydration and minor injuries, but did not appear to be seriously hurt, hospital official Scott Graham told KOMO. Efforts to find the site of the crash will continue Tuesday.
According to relatives, Veatch described a sudden crash that came after the plane flew into a bank of clouds and said that she found her way out after the accident by following a stream that led to a hiking trail. While Veatch reportedly told authorities that her step-grandparents did not survive the crash, Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers told the AP there was no official comment on the condition of the Bowmans. “She was the only one who walked out,” he said of Veatch.
Veatch’s friends in Bellingham, Washington told reporters that they were amazed she had not only lived through the crash but managed to survive two days in the wilderness, since she is not much of an outdoor enthusiast. They described Autumn as an avid musician who “loves technology” and is “not a hiker at all.”