Distraught woman survives plunge from Echo Summit | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Distraught woman survives plunge from Echo Summit

Jeff Munson

A reportedly distraught Sacramento area woman was found alive Monday after plunging 200 to 300 feet down Echo Summit.

The woman was airlifted to Washoe Medical Center in Reno with non-life threatening injuries, authorities said.

It is unknown whether the woman jumped at the area on Echo Summit called “The Bluffs.” Last month a Folsom woman drove her Toyota truck off the summit in an apparent suicide attempt and lived.

An El Dorado County Sheriff’s sergeant responded to a call at about 12:15 p.m. of a suspicious vehicle that was idling along Echo Summit in a turnout. The doors to the car were unlocked and the woman’s personal belongings were in the car.

“At that point we didn’t know what we had. We didn’t know whether it was an abduction or if someone needed help,” said El Dorado County Sheriff’s Sgt. Bruce Rosa, who was at the scene.

A search-and-rescue team was called and, with the aid of a CALSTAR helicopter, authorities scoured the summit from top to bottom. Authorities then used information left in the car to contact the woman’s family to inquire about her whereabouts.

The woman was later spotted by a search-and-rescue team member who was at South Upper Truckee Road. With the use of binoculars he saw the woman, wearing black, waving at the helicopter that was flying overhead.

The rescue team had called for air rescue but all helicopters were busy on other calls around the region, Rosa said.

At about 12:30 p.m. the California Highway Patrol closed the eastbound lane of Highway 50 to let rescue teams attempt to scale down the steep mountainside.

Members of the El Dorado County Search and Rescue team along with sheriff’s deputies and the Lake Valley Fire Protection District managed to get to the woman, who was conscious but suffered multiple abrasions and lacerations to her hands, face, arms and shoulders.

The woman was brought up the mountainside on a stretcher and taken by ambulance to the Lake Tahoe Environmental Science Magnet School in Meyers, from where she was airlifted to Washoe Medical Center.

Authorities would not comment as to whether the woman had tried to commit suicide, but said she had been distraught and had been “going through some trying times.”

Last month a woman survived an apparent suicide attempt after driving her Toyota Rav 4 off Highway 50 at Echo Summit, plunging about 600 feet.

The 33-year-old Folsom woman was found after authorities received a call from a South Upper Truckee Road resident who saw the Toyota crash down the mountainside.

The location of Monday’s incident was west of where the Aug. 15 incident happened.

The fact that the woman survived Monday’s fall down the mountainside was miraculous, Rosa said.

“She was very fortunate because she was pretty beat up,” he said.

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