Angela Hernandez, 23, was found alive a week after her vehicle plummeted at least 200 feet over a California cliff

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https://www.gofundme.com/findangelahernandezAngela HernandezCredit: GoFundMe
Credit: GoFundMe

A 23-year-old Oregon woman is opening up about her harrowing journey of survival after she fell 200 feet off of a California cliff while driving her Jeep — and remained lost and injured for a week.

Angela Hernandez was driving from Portland on July 6 to visit family in Southern California, and disappeared after texting relatives that she was six hours away, according to a missing person’s report from the Monterey County Sheriff’s Office. A week later, hikers found Hernandez’s mangled white Jeep at the bottom of a massive cliff near Big Sur, partially in the Pacific Ocean, on Friday, July 13.

Nearby, they found Hernandez dehydrated and injured. Hernandez detailed the ordeal in a lengthy Facebook post on Sunday, revealing that a small animal stepped onto the road, causing her to swerve and lose control of the vehicle

“I don’t really remember much of the fall,” she wrote. “The only thing I really remember after that was waking up. I was still in my car and I could feel water rising over my knees. My head hurt and when I touched it, I found blood on my hands … Every bone in my body hurt. The onnnly thing racing through my mind was my sister, Isabel. So I started screaming her name.”

She managed to free herself from the folded car and swam to shore before falling asleep, Hernandez continued. For the next few days, Hernandez wandered the beach, looking for help. She stood high above the rocks almost each day, yelling at the cars on the other side in hopes that someone would hear her eventually.

“Every night, I’d find the highest point I could climb up to and find somewhere to fall asleep before the tide would rise,” she wrote. “Every morning, I’d wake up soaked in sea mist and watch the sun rise. It would be a lie to say that things got easier as the days passed. They never did.”

So, Hernandez was ecstatic on Friday when she saw a married couple walking across the shore. The pair had found her mangled Jeep and provided her with fresh water as they worked to find help.

At 8:13 p.m., the sheriff’s county sent out a victorious tweet: “Angela Hernandez has been located and is being transported to the hospital.”

Officials shared a photo of deputies helping Hernandez on a patch of rocks near the water. She had a concussion and shoulder injury at the time she was found, according to ABC News. And, in her post, Hernandez wrote that she suffered from four fractured ribs, a collapsed lung, ruptured blood vessels, and “intense sunburns.”

Still, Hernandez said she’s lucky to be alive.

“I feel like I have everything I’ve ever wanted. I’m sitting here in the hospital, laughing with my sister until she makes broken bones hurt. I’ve met some of the most beautiful human beings that I think I’ll ever meet in my entire life,” she concluded. “I’ve experienced something so unique and terrifying and me that I can’t imagine that there isn’t a bigger purpose for me in this life. I don’t know, you guys, life is incredible.”

The family has set up a GoFundMe page to cover Hernandez’s medical expenses.