Autumn Veatch, Plane Crash Victim Found

Autumn-VeatchAutumn Veatch, 16, who survived a small-plane crash north-central Washington state emerged from the forest after hiking “for a couple of days” and was picked up by a motorist who drove her to safety authorities said Monday afternoon.  The fate of her two step-grandparents, who were also on board, remained unclear.

Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said Monday afternoon that the girl had been “walking for a couple of days.” He declined to comment on the status of the other two people aboard the plane. She was being taken to a local hospital and she seemed to be in stable condition, Rogers said.

Serena Lockwood, the manager at the Mazama Store, said the girl and a motorist came in Monday afternoon, saying she had been in a plane crash. “She was obviously pretty traumatized,” Lockwood said.

The plane crossed the Idaho-Washington border about 2:20 p.m. PDT Saturday, but it dropped off the radar near Omak, Washington, about an hour later, transportation officials said.

The last phone signal from one of the plane’s occupants was detected around 3:50 p.m.

Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol in Bellingham said the terrain and bad weather would have made for a scary flight.

“I can’t tell you what a relief it is to be a first responder and have a survivor,” Lustick said. “Cheers went out when it was confirmed that this 16-year-old girl from Bellingham was alive.”

More to come…