What an ingenious woman. I don’t think I would have ever thought of doing what she did in order to stay alive.
An 88-year-old woman, trapped in her car for six days after driving off the road on the way home from the grocery store, sustained herself by wiping condensation off the windshield with a towel and sucking the moisture, her son says. Mary Lillian Anderson was in satisfactory condition Thursday at Southwest Washington Medical Center.
She was rescued Wednesday by a delivery truck driver who noticed the car stuck in blackberry bushes just off Interstate 5 and peered inside. He says he was braced for the sight of a body. “She was sitting right there, staring back at me,” said Andrew Thompson, who delivers propane in rural Clark County. “She looked very happy.”
Anderson disappeared Jan. 6 after she misjudged a corner, drove across a broad gravel-covered shoulder and tipped her car into a steep drop-off filled with blackberry bushes. Her 1997 Cadillac Seville was hidden from view but within earshot of I-5.
Thompson said the height of his truck’s cab gave him a perfect view Wednesday of the cranberry-colored car down the embankment. “If there had been leaves on the trees, I don’t think she would have made it, I wouldn’t have been able to see her,” he said. “The lady is just very, very lucky to be alive,” Buckner said.
Thompson said he tried to open the car door but found it wedged shut. “I yelled back to her that I was going to get help,” he said. He climbed back up the bank, called 911, and then went back to the car. In time he was able to wrench open the door, and he waited with Anderson for rescue crews. “She held my hand,” he said.