Survivor Autumn Veatch, 16, has said Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana, her step-grandparents, did not survive the Saturday crash. “The wreckage was extensively burned and was in fact still smoldering and flaring up when searchers arrived”.
Autumn said when it became clear that her grandparents hadn’t survived, she began to try to find her way to civilization. “I have never loved being alive more”. She followed it to Highway 20, where a driver found her and brought her nearly 50km to Mazama Store, the first stop on the way down from Washington Pass.
He and Autumn were texting back and forth when his final text to her failed to go through, he said.
Veatch also remembered she needed warm clothing.
Autumn and her father frequently watched wilderness shows and that may have been a factor in her fight for survival, her friends said. She said the Bowmans did not survive. Scared the plane might explode, she described following drainage to a river and spending the night on a sand bar, the Monitor previously reported.
Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Monday afternoon that the girl had been “walking for a couple of days”. Her grandparents did not survive.
Veatch, a high school student in Bellingham, Washington, was able to help investigators pinpoint the wreckage of the plane, Molitor told the Seattle Times on Wednesday.
The teen survivor who has been hailed as a “superhero” for making it to safety is still in shock, her friends told CNN’s Erin Burnett on Wednesday.
Autumn was released from a hospital on Tuesday and gave search teams information about where the wreckage was.
KOMO News said officials believe the Nevalainen’s plane crashed before the one from Montana, but was found later because their disappearance wasn’t reported until Tuesday.
“I just got this surge of willpower and was like there’s no way I can die without hugging somebody again”, she said.
“I was just kind of joking, but I was, like, ‘oh, this is a really bumpy flight”.
The hikers drove her to a general store, then an ambulance took her to the hospital where doctors found no major injuries, and her father brought chicken nuggets.
16-year-old Autumn Veatch sat down for an interview with NBC on Thursday and recounted the moments immediately following the crash.
She didn’t eat while lost in the woods, but did drink some water from the aforementioned creek.