It’s a parent’s worst nightmare: their child is missing and may be dead. Fortunately for one family, this story had a happy ending.
16-year-old Autumn Veatch went missing on Saturday when her step-grandparents’ small plane crashed. According to Veatch, the plane hit a patch of rough weather, then crashed and caught fire somewhere in the North Cascade Mountains. She miraculously survived the crash without any major injuries, but was unable to save her step-grandparents from the wreckage.
If surviving the crash wasn’t amazing enough, this teenager was able to navigate her way back to civilization. For several days she hiked along a river until she found a hiking trail, which led her back to a road. Here a passing motorist picked her up and took her to a store so she could call her parents.
This just goes to show that your most important survival tool is you. Autumn Veatch had the good sense to realize that the river was flowing west, toward the more populated areas of Washington, and that if she followed it long enough she would get back to civilization. This kind of calm, rational, common sense approach to a disaster could make the difference between life and death for you or your loved ones.
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