A 40-year-old Simi Valley, California, woman reported missing earlier this week was found stranded Wednesday inside her SUV, which had plummeted about 70 feet over the side of a Malibu cliff.
Los Angeles firefighters responded to a crash about 9 a.m. Wednesday in the Latigo Canyon Road area after a walker reported hearing screams and spotting Jenifer Duron's white Kia Sorento at the bottom of the canyon, officials with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said.
Lisa McClelland was walking her dogs in the area with husband John Abbene when she noticed something was amiss.
"I saw skid marks, splayed gravel and matted down grass, so I went to the cliff side and looked over the edge and that's when I saw the white SUV," McClelland said. "I hollered down and I heard a very weak response of 'help me.'"
Her husband waited at the cliff and reassured Duron while his wife went to call emergency services.
"We could see her hand coming out of the back door... so we knew she was OK but she couldn't really verbalize how she felt," Abbene said.
When rescuers arrived they climbed down the steep cliff to reach Duron, who was dehydrated, but talking and conscious. She was lifted to safety and then taken to Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, sheriff's officials said. She was treated for dehydration and underwent tests for numbness in her legs. Her family said she could return home as early as Thursday.
After the rescue McClelland was told by rescuers if it was not for her Duron would have perished.
"(Rescuers) told me I saved her life and I said no, you guys did the heavy lifting. And he said, 'no you saved her life," McClelland said. "I only did what a good citizen would do."
Duron was reported missing by family members Monday when didn't return home from a jog she was going on in Malibu.
After reuniting at the hospital, Daruty said his daughter was driving home that day when she got distracted by her purse in the passenger seat. Duron swerved, drove off the road and was stranded the next two nights in tough terrain without food, water or cellphone service.
"She could hear cars going by and she didn't know if someone was going to find her or not," Daruty said.