Photo: Arizona Department of Public Safety

A lonely stretch of desert highway. You’ve gone off the road, and plunged 50 feet. When the car finally comes to a rest, it’s still suspended in the air, stuck in a mesquite tree. You have no food. You have no water. There is no help. That was the nightmare endured by a 53-year-old Arizona woman a few weeks ago.

The as-yet-unidentified woman was driving along a remote stretch of US 60, north of Phoenix, when she lost control of her car and smashed through a guardrail. It was six days before anyone found her, the Arizona Department of Public Safety said in a press release:

On Thursday, October 18, an Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) maintenance crew and rancher were working to corral a cow along US 60 when they noticed a break in the fence near the roadway. When they stood by the damaged fence, they observed a mangled vehicle lodged in a mesquite tree about 50 feet down from the roadway. ADOT notified the Arizona Department of Public Safety (AZDPS) and a trooper was sent to the scene.

Trooper Caleb Hiegel, ADOT road maintenance crew members Zach Moralez and Josh Miller, and rancher Dave Moralez searched the car and did not locate anyone.

Seeing no one in the car, the two Arizona DPS troopers followed tracks leading out of it, and found the woman about 500 yards away in an old riverbed. She was severely dehydrated, and had serious injuries:

They began treating the woman and called for a medical helicopter.

The woman told Trooper Hiegel she lost control of her vehicle six days earlier and remained inside of the vehicle for several days before climbing out.

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The woman then told the troopers that she had hoped to make it to some train tracks nearby, but that she had never made it. Instead, she collapsed where the troopers found her.

Thankfully, once the troopers did find her, they immediately called for a helicopter to medevac her out of there.

But you tell me if that’s not the worst possible driving scenario you can imagine in your head.

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h/t to the BBC!