Sole survivor of plane crash was 'certain she would die' as she explains how she hiked two days to safety
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The sole survivor of a horrific plane crash was 'certain she would die' as she explains how she hiked for two days to reach safety.
Autumn Veatch, who was just 16 years old at the time, was travelling on a small plane from Montana with her grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman, when the aircraft crashed into a mountainside in north-central Washington state back in 2015.
After miraculously surviving the impact, the teenager hiked through the mountains for two full days before finally being rescued.
Speaking to CNN at the time, Autumn recalled what it was like that exact moment the aircraft went down.
"We completely lost sight of what was going on at all [...] We couldn’t see a single thing, it was all white, and GPS wasn’t really working." she said.
Autumn recalled she was 'freaking out really bad' before adding: "It was all white and then it was all trees and then it was all fire.
"And, I mean, I was kind of hunched down so [...] the impact itself didn't really hurt me, but fire did."
Autumn said her 'immediate response' was to help her grandparents who were 'still alive' at the time.
"They were alive, they were both screaming," she continued. "There was no way I could get to grandma because she was on the far side and there was nothing I could do, but I assumed that if I got grandpa out first then maybe she would come out.
"I was trying to pull them out and I just couldn’t do it. There was too much fire and I’m a small person."
"I was certain I was gonna die," Autumn continued.
"The second day I was living outside, I tried to sleep the morning after. I was certain I would die of hypothermia because I was freezing."
"My instinct was to go downhill just so I started going downhill. I mean, I was obviously distressed, crying and really scared to be alone in the middle of absolutely nowhere."
Autumn also remembered the 'survivor shows' she used to watch with her dad when she was younger.
She said: "I always remembered going downhill and finding bodies of water, because like water always leads to civilisation.
"As soon as I couldn't hear a freeway, I was thinking like, 'Well just try to find running water' and I did. I found a little tiny bit of water. It was going downhill and I just followed it."
Autumn then followed the water until it 'just grew into a river'.
It took two days for Autumn to make it to the nearest highway, which was close to the small town of Mazama.
Thankfully, two men later found her in a carpark and they drove her to Mazama, where she was able to call 911.
She was then treated in hospital for muscle tissue breakdown caused by intense exercise without food or water as well as severe dehydration.