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Rescued woman recounts 350-foot plunge down mountain

April 9, 2012 |  2:54 pm


A woman who survived a 350-foot plunge down an icy mountainside in the Angeles National Forest recounted the harrowing crash and her night spent alone in frigid temperatures.

Tracy Granger, 56, was driving from Pasadena to Juniper Hills in the Palmdale area the evening of March 25 when the crash happened during of her weekly trek to visit her aunt and uncle, who live near the Rose Bowl.

She called them about 15 minutes after leaving their home to check on road conditions. Her uncle looked at the Caltrans website and indicated that the road was open but there were chain requirements in some places.

When her aunt and uncle tried to call her back, there was no answer.

In an interview with KTLA's David Begnaud, Granger said she hit an icy patch and uttered an expletive. "I saw that bump coming and I knew exactly where I was going to go," Granger said.

She plunged 350 feet down the mountain: "I heard the sound of the truck turning. I became aware that the truck was on its roof."

Granger said she crawled out through a broken window and considered climbing up the hill. But she had suffered a fractured neck and pelvis and a few broken ribs; and when she looked up, she realized how far she would have to go.

As she sat huddled and badly hurt, she said, she tried to send thoughts out to her husband, calling for help.

"I sat down and I said out loud, 'Lee, I'm overdue,'" she said. "'Something has happened. Figure it out.'"

Her husband reported her missing -- and deputies from the L.A. County Sheriff's Department found her.

"As deputies were walking along the ridgeline here, they actually saw a too box," said Sgt. Andrew Nagel. "They got some binoculars, looked and then found her way down at the bottom of the canyon there, up against a tree."

Granger was suffering from severe hypothermia and critical head injuries. She was airlifted out.

A first responder at the scene described the moments after he reached Granger.

"When we got there, she was lifeless," Jay Johnson of Montrose Search and Rescue said. They "brought her back to [consciousness], and it's just a matter of getting people on scene to get her out of here and get her to the hospital."

First responders said that once Granger regained consciousness, she told them how grateful she was for the teamwork and that they were able to get her out safely.


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-- KTLA News