Atascadero woman survives plunge, climbs to survival
February 12, 2015
A 57-year-old Atascadero woman survived a crash that sent her truck plunging down a cliff near Ragged Point, and then spent three days on the hillside before climbing to safety. [KSBY]
The crash happened late Saturday afternoon when Debbie Lopez lost control of a pickup truck as she reached to put out a cigarette. Her truck left Highway 1, flipped over the side of the cliff, rolled about 150 feet and landed upside down.
When the crash occurred, Lopez was without a phone, food and water. After releasing her seatbelt, she realized that she had damaged ribs, cuts and bruises, Lopez said.
Lopez spent Saturday night upside down and did not climb out of the truck until Monday. After climbing out through the windshield, she called for help, but no one heard her.
An approximately 24-hour climb, which involved crawling up steep terrain, led her to Highway 1 near Ragged Point. A family visiting the area from Louisiana stopped their car and called for help when they saw Lopez.
Authorities have yet to recover Lopez’s truck. They have had a difficult time locating it from above.
Atascadero police say Lopez is expected to be released from the hospital on Thursday. She thanks God for her new lease on life.