BIG SUR (KION 5) — An extensive, days long search for a missing Oregon woman ended in an incredible rescue off the Big Sur coast this weekend, according to a report by KION 5 in Monterey.
Chad and Chelsea Moore, a married couple hiking in the area on Friday, were looking for places to fish along the beach Friday evening when they saw something strange.
“We saw a bumper first and we were like hmm, there’s a bumper. That’s weird. And then came around another bend and saw the car,” said Chelsea.
It was a 2011 white Jeep Patriot. The married couple did not realize the car was the same vehicle search and rescue teams have been looking for for days.
The car belonged to Hernandez, who had been missing for a week. She told authorities she swerved off the road on Highway 1 to avoid hitting a rabbit, sending the car off the edge of the 200 foot high cliff and down to the rocky bottom.
Hernandez also told the Moores she remembers flying through the air and feeling the sense of falling before getting knocked unconscious. She told them she woke up to water filling up her Jeep, so she broke the driver’s side window with a multi-tool to escape.
“It looked like there wouldn’t have been any survivors, like the car was pretty bad. And there weren’t any signs of people or blood or anything,” said Chelsea.
The Moores started collecting items from the Jeep, including the license plate, in hopes of giving it to law enforcement.
The couple said after they found the Jeep at the bottom of this cliff, they walked back to their campsite about a mile or two from the car along the beach. That is when they found Hernandez.
“We turned around and Angela was right there in the rocks, just looked like hell. She was happy at the same time! She was really happy to see us,” said Chad.
“At that point we just panicked with adrenaline like, ‘Oh my God! You were in that car we just saw and you’re alive and you must need help,'” said Chelsea.
They said Hernandez seemed OK and responsive, and they got help right after. Chelsea brought back food and blankets as they waited for rescuers to arrive.
Rescuers said Hernandez appears to have suffered a concussion.
The Moores said it was just good timing that led them to Hernandez, and that it is a miracle she survived.
“Can’t believe you’re alive Angela, if you’re listening to this. You’re a hero, that’s unreal,” said Chad.
“Total legend. She’s here for a reason and we were there for a reason and we’re so glad she’s OK,” said Chelsea.
For an extended interview clip with the Moores, click here.