(CBS) — Angela Hernandez is telling an incredible story ofon a rocky, remote beach in California. She’s now battered and bruised in a hospital bed, but her spirit is unbroken.
“I have to tell you, Angela is an amazing, amazing young woman,” said Sheriff Steve Bernal. “She had to fight to survive.”
Driving to southern California along the famous Big Sur coastline, Hernandez swerved to avoid hitting an animal and plunged 250 feet onto the rocks and into ocean below. On her Facebook page, she has recounted those first moments trapped in the car with a brain hemorrhage, six broken bones and a collapsed lung.
She says she found a toolkit that she kept near the front seat, and started hitting the driver-side window with it.
“Eventually, I was able to break out of my car and jump into the ocean,” she wrote.
Heavy fog and no cell service kept rescue teams from finding her, and she survived only on water.
“She found a radiator hose and found what was a natural spring coming out of the cliff in the area, noticed some mossy green vegetation, she used that radiator hose to collect water,” Bernal said.
Seven days later, Hernandez was finally rescued when hikers Chad and Chelsea Moore spotted the wreckage of her jeep.
“She had the will to survive,” Bernal said. “Most people in that situation wouldn’t have lasted that long.”