Woman, 94, Survives 11 Hours Trapped in Crashed Car
By Ben Deci
Marysville, CA (KTXL) — At less than a month shy of her 94th birthday, Couch doesn’t rattle easily. Even considering what she’s just been through.
“Well, all I can say is, ‘keep your head. Don’t panic.’ Because that’s what’s gonna get you, when you panic,” says Genevieve Couch.
“My wheels started jerking,” she explained to FOX40, “and I lost control of the car. Went across the road, down an embankment, and bingo…”
It was Highway 70, North of Marysville, Friday morning. Couch was trapped at the crash site for 11 hours. Police estimate the embankment she slid down was 50 to 60 feet below the surface of the highway. It was far too steep for her to climb out.
But before she even tried, she had to get out of her car.
“I tried my door on the drivers side and there was a tree there so I couldn’t open it. So I put all my glass down, while it still had electric (power),” Couch said.
She said the passenger door was blocked, too, by a thick, thorny bramble. So, using her cane, she reached out the window and literally beat the bushes back, away from her door.
On her arms there are dozens of puncture wounds and cuts, where the thorns scraped her. She also got a deep cut to her wrist in the accident itself.
She busied herself creating a makeshift bandage for that wound, and she waited. The hours dragged on. Police began searching for her, but the California Highway Patrol helicopter could not located her from the sky because of the deep brush her car had landed in.
“I wasn’t scared. I was just dying for a drink of water. I couldn’t even find a piece of candy or a piece of gum in my car,” she said.
But eventually, some people walking did find her. They called police, and after 11 hours, Couch was rescued.