(KPIX 5) — After a woman was found alive and rescued seven days after she drove off a cliff near Big Sur, a view from Sky Drone 5 shows just how miraculous her survival was.
The wide view shot from the ocean side shows Angela Hernandez’ crumpled Jeep at the bottom of the 250-foot cliff leaves you with one thought: she could not have survived.
But she did and Hernandez is recovering at an undisclosed hospital, while the story she posted on Facebook now being shared thousands of times.
A closer look from Sky Drone 5 allows you to can see the faint black tire marks and chips from the stone wall where she swerved to dodge an animal on the road.
The lack of skid marks likely means she never hit the brakes. Her white Jeep went airborne, slammed into the opposite cliff side and rolled down to the shore.
The force of the impact knocked her unconscious, and she woke up with water up to her knees.
The doors were basically crumpled shut as well, and the only way she can get out was to grab a multi tool out of her backpack and then smash the driver side window, and climb out.
Janelle Solis and her daughters hiked the 2 1/2 mile roundtrip over sharp slippery rocks to see the wreckage for themselves.
“Like God had to be watching her, all the way,” Solis told KPIX 5.
Hernandez had broken ribs, two broken collarbones, a collapsed lung, and was barefoot, but still managed to scramble over half a mile of sharp rocks and boulders to find this fresh water runoff.
Had she kept on walking another half-mile, she would have run into Kirk Creek Campground, one of the busiest in Big Sur.
The next few days were spent climbing to higher ground, hoping that someone would see her.
Day after day of exposure to the elements gave her a severe sunburn.
Hernandez wrote, “Songs I hadn’t heard in years played on repeat inside my head. I’d daydream of food Ii get to eat once i was found, and imagine the face of the person who would eventually find me.”
Several days later, Chelsea Moore and her husband just happened to be on the desolate beach. They inspected the Jeep, and because it looked rested they figured it was an old crash, and started walking away.
Something made Hernandez wake up, she noticed Chelsea and cried for help.
“Can’t believe you’re alive Angela, You’re a hero, that’s unreal, you made it,” Chad Moore said.
“Total legend, You’re here for reason, and we were there for a reason, and we’re so glad she’s OK,” said Chelsea Moore.
How is it that the Jeep crumpled everywhere except for the driver seat? How did she end up next to a freshwater spring which allowed her to drink water for the week she was missing. And what made her wake up just in time to see her rescuers?
“Someone was watching over her, not only during that 250-foot plunge, but the whole seven days she was down there,” said Monterey County Sheriff Steve Bernal.