Great-Grandmother, 70, Recounts 5 Days Trapped in Car Before Dramatic Rescue: 'This Isn't Real'
Sharon Leaming, who survived on just two bananas two bottles of water, had five broken ribs, a broken back and bruises.
A 70-year-old great-grandmother is opening up after she survived five days trapped in her car after crashing 40 feet down an embankment in Washington state last month.
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Sharon Leaming has five broken ribs, a broken back and a giant bruise on her face.
She told Inside Edition she is "in pain," but considers herself lucky.
“When I hit that tree, I didn’t leave any marks," she told Inside Edition. "I flew right over the bush."
She was trapped and helpless. Only left with two bananas and two bottles of water for food and hydration, she was unable to move or grab her cell phone.
For the next five days, she yelled for help.
“I would scream, 'Help' and '911,'" she recalled.
It wasn't long before her family grew worried after she failed to show up for a visit.
Sharon's nephew, Bob, and her son, Jerry, jumped into action along with law enforcement.
Their only clue was a ping from a cell phone tower that covered several miles along Route 12, which is about two hours outside Seattle.
“We didn’t know if we were looking for a car or just the phone,” he recalled.
They had to search hundreds of roads nearly impossible to access.
“A lot of the roads are just old logging roads," Bob said. "There were overgrown areas with trees with limbs sticking out. It's difficult to get a vehicle down, but each one had to be checked.”
At one point during the search, Bob noticed something was amiss during a particular part of the road.
“I was just looking over the edge and the more I looked, the more I could see the brush was disturbed a little bit,” he recalled.
Suddenly, he heard his aunt calling out for help.
At first, she couldn’t believe her ordeal was over, believing she was hallucinating and not that anything was actually happening.
“I thought, 'Oh, this isn't real,'" she recalled. “When I first heard a voice, I was down in the trees."
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“She couldn’t believe that I found her," Bob said. "She was expecting a search and rescue team."
It took half a dozen rescue workers to free her from the wreckage and bring her to a clearing where she could be airlifted to a hospital.
When Bob saw the car for the first time after her rescue, he got emotional as the memories came flooding back.
“It’s just crumpled in and the top is buckled,” he said.
She added that she “never gave up hope" and honked the horn of the car for two days until the battery died.
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