Family members said 70-year-old Sharon Lee Leaming survived while being trapped in her car by eating what little water and food she had in the car, including a banana and Pop-Tarts, KIRO 7 News reported.
The Rochester woman’s vehicle was located Sunday afternoon off a a 30-foot embankment in Grays Harbor County on U.S. Highway 12 at milepost 33. She declined a flight to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle due to its cost, and is recovering at St. Joseph Medical Center in Tacoma, family members told media outlets.
Leaming’s 1993 Chevy Lumina struck two trees 30 feet down an embankment and was found perpendicular to Highway 12 facing the highway, according to KBKW. Family members had been searching for Leaming and her car for days.
“My cousin Bob was walking the road, instead of driving the road, and saw the grass was down and so he called my cousin Jerry and went searching down the ravine,” Leaming’s niece, Tiffany Kolb, told KIRO News.
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Tammie Pennypacker told KING-5 News that her mother was trapped in the car, unable to move because of a broken ankle and heel. She said her mom’s cellphone was lodged in the dash, and she couldn’t reach it.
A GoFundMe account was created to help pay for the search. Now the campaign’s proceeds will help pay for family members' expenses in traveling to see Leaming, as well as a new car and a ramp to be built at her house. To view the account, go to: https://www.gofundme.com/3u6eohs.
Leaming suffered a medical emergency prior to the crash, according to the Washington State Patrol.
She was last seen Tuesday morning when she left her home for a family property in North Cove, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s Office.