70-Year-Old Woman Survives for 5 Days Trapped in Car with Only Bananas and Water

Sharon Lee Leaming was reported missing last week.

A 70-year-old Washington woman survived for five days with only two bananas and two bottles of water for nourishment after her car careened down an embankment, her family said.

Sharon Lee Leaming was reported missing last Thursday after she failed to arrive at her Rochester home. Her frantic family told authorities she suffered chronic back pain and was in the early stages of dementia.

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She had driven off U.S. Highway 12 and down a 40-foot hill before crashing into a tree, according to the Thurston County Sheriff’s office.

Her cell phone was lodged in the dashboard and she wasn’t able to reach it, her family said.

Trapped inside her 1993 Chevy Lumina, the great-grandmother subsisted on the water and fruit she had in her car. She also had some Pop-Tarts, but was afraid she might choke if she tried to eat them, her granddaughter said on a GoFundMe page established to help with Leaming’s recuperation needs including a new car and a ramp for her home.

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The woman suffered a broken ankle, a broken heel and internal injuries. She is currently hospitalized in Tacoma.

A family member found Leaming while searching for her car along Highway 12. He noticed a spot where the grass was tamped down and followed the flattened shrubbery to Leaming’s car.

Because she was severely dehydrated and unable to walk, she was airlifted to St. Joseph Medical Center.

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