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Teenager survives plane crash, 2 days in mountains; 2 others feared dead

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A teenager whose plane disappeared over the weekend in Washington state was found alive and well on Monday, authorities said.

Autumn Veatch, 16, was flying with her grandparents Saturday in a small, private plane. The aircraft left Montana, but never arrived where it was headed -- Lynden, Washington.

"Autumn did not tell us the condition of her grandparents, but it doesn't sound good. It doesn't sound like they made it," Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers told CNN.

He recounted the teen's story of survival.

"Autumn said they flew out of the clouds, and then flew into the side of a mountain. She was able to get out, and she spent the night by a river before hiking to the highway, where she was rescued," Rogers said.

She was picked up and taken to a local store in Mazama, Washington.

Photo taken of Autumn Veatch recovering in hospital with her dad and friends. Credit:David Veatch/KCPQ

Photo taken of Autumn Veatch recovering in hospital with her dad and friends.
Credit: David Veatch/KCPQ

The girl was then taken to Three Rivers Hospital in nearby Brewster, and her father, David Veatch, was on his way to pick her up, according to the sheriff.

Autumn was dehydrated and developed rhabdomyolysis, a muscle disorder, during her ordeal, but suffered no life threatening injuries, said Scott Graham, CEO of Three Rivers Hospital.

David Veatch said that his daughter tried to help her grandparents -- Leland and Sharon Bowman -- out of the plane, but couldn't. She waited for rescuers near the crash site for about a day, crying, the newspaper reported David Veatch said.

Crews are still looking for the plane and the girl's grandparents. The search is being complicated by the mountainous terrain.

Read more on the story from our sister station KCPQ.

 

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