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Teenage girl hiked to safety for days after surviving plane crash

By WITW Staff on July 14, 2015

A 16-year old girl survived a plane crash in the dense forests of Washington state, then hiked for two days in the wilderness before being picked up by a motorist who drove her to safety. Relatives of Autumn Veatch alerted authorities on Saturday afternoon when the A-35 light plane in which she was flying with her two step-grandparents failed to complete its flight from Kalispell, Montana, to Lynden in Washington. Rescuers were not able to locate the downed aircraft or its occupants until Autumn, who had followed a trail to Highway 20, near the east entrance to North Cascades National Park, was discovered by a motorist — who drove her to a general store where employees called 911. She was taken to a hospital, where doctors found she had sustained no life-threatening injuries, but was “somewhat dehydrated due to being out in the elements.” The fate of her step-grandparents, however, remains unknown. Rescuers are now focusing on finding the wreckage, but were delighted by the survival of the teenager. “We’re so happy about this,” Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol said. “I’ve spent 30 years in the Civil Air Patrol and in search and rescue. Moments of joy like this can be hard to find.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.