Woman drank water using car radiator during week trapped after California cliff plunge

An woman has survived a week by drinking water using her car’s radiator after plunging 200ft down a sheer cliff at a California beauty spot when she swerved to avoid an animal. 

Angela Hernandez, 23, went missing as she drove from her home in Portland, Oregon to visit her sister in Los Angeles on July 6th. 

She was last seen that morning on CCTV at a petrol station in Carmel, fifty miles north of where she was eventually discovered on the rugged stretch of coastline known as Big Sur. 

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Her mysterious disappearance sparked a major search as her frantic family awaited news and a $10,000 reward was offered for information.

Seven days later, two hikers discovered her Jeep at the bottom of cliffs in Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park. She was lying close by, conscious and in remarkably good condition, screaming for help.

Angela Hernandez posing with a Jeep before the crash

Miss Hernandez said she swerved to avoid hitting an animal along the famously winding stretch of Highway 1 and lost control, plummeting to the beach below. 

Although she had managed to get out of the wrecked SUV, which was partially submerged, her attempts to climb back up the cliff-side failed.

Rescuers used a hoist to recover her and she was airlifted to hospital on Friday night.

According to California Highway patrol, she appeared to have a minor shoulder injury and concussion and survived "by drinking water from the radiator of her vehicle." It was later clarified that Ms Hernandez used a tube from the radiator to siphon water from a stream.

It was unclear whether she had any food.

The Monterey County Sheriff’s Office posted pictures of the remarkable rescue, showing paramedics treating the young woman on the beach under the sheer cliff.

Spokesman John Thornburg said she was lucky to be alive.

"It’s usually the fall that gets them, or the ocean that gets them, and she was lucky to survive both."

Her sister, Isabel Hernandez, wrote “My sister is alive, she’s talking, and she’s still trying to come to understand everything,” . “She’s a fighter and she fought this long and she will continue to. It’s not going to be an easy recovery. I hope everyone will have patience for her and her recovery.”

“I just want to thank everybody, everybody. Sorry I’m just in shock. Everybody that … helped us through the whole thing and Angela will be OK. I’m so happy."