Woman rescued after spending six days in desert after car crash
PHOENIX — A 53-year-old woman was rescued after she spent six days seriously injured in the desert after losing control of her vehicle and crashing earlier this month.
The Arizona Department of Transportation said in a news release that the woman lost control of her vehicle while driving along the U.S. 60 near Wickenburg on Oct. 12.
The woman’s car drove through a fence and dropped 50 feet, landing in a mesquite tree.
Rescuers found the severely dehydrated woman, who did not want to be identified, on Oct. 18 after following tracks from the vehicle that a highway maintenance crew and a rancher spotted.
When they stood by the damaged fence, they found the mangled vehicle and called authorities.
Arizona Department of Public Safety Trooper Caleb Hiegel, ADOT road maintenance crew member Zack Moralez and rancher Dave Moralez did not find anyone in the vehicle, but did spot human tracks leading towards the Hassayampa river bed.
When they followed the tracks, they found the woman. Her injuries were not specifically disclosed.
The woman told troopers that she remained inside the vehicle for days before climbing out and walking toward the railroad tracks with the hope of being discovered, but never made it because she was so weak.
The woman was later airlifted to a local hospital.
“The diligence of the ADOT crew and teamwork of everyone involved is exemplary and to be commended,” Col. Frank Milstead said in a statement. “Due to their outstanding efforts, this woman’s life was saved.”