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Teenager survives plane crash, 2 days in mountains; two others feared dead

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MAZAMA, Wash. -- A teenager whose plane disappeared over the weekend in central Washington was found alive and well on Monday, authorities said.

Autumn Veatch, 16, was flying with her grandparents Saturday in a small, private plane. The aircraft left Montana, but never arrived where it was headed -- Lynden, Washington.

"Autumn did not tell us the condition of her grandparents, but it doesn't sound good. It doesn't sound like they made it," Okanogan County Sheriff Frank Rogers said.

He recounted the teen's story of survival.

"Autumn said they flew out of the clouds, and then flew into the side of a mountain. She was able to get out, and she spent the night by a river before hiking to the highway, where she was rescued," Rogers said.

She was picked up and taken to a local store in Mazama, Washington.

The girl was then taken to a hospital.

Autumn Veatch recovering in the hospital with her dad and friends.

Autumn Veatch recovering in the hospital with her dad and friends.

Officials at Three Rivers Hospital in Brewster said she suffered non-life-threatening injuries and was being evaluated and treated for dehydration.

Autumn's father, David Veatch, said that his daughter tried to help her grandparents -- Leland and Sharon Bowman -- out of the plane, but couldn't. She waited for rescuers near the crash site for about a day, crying, the Bellingham Herald reported.

An official with the Civil Air Patrol told Q13 FOX News that they have a good idea where the wreckage may be located. An aerial search for the plane was scheduled to resume on Tuesday.

The patrol is using a low-flying Cessna with a support plane flying high above.

Missing since Saturday night

Authorities began searching Sunday for the small plane with three people on board that never arrived at its planned destination.

According to WSDOT officials, the plane left western Montana around 4 p.m. Saturday and was scheduled to arrive in Lynden at 7 p.m.

Family members called for help after the plane did not arrive in Lynden.

Officials said the last cell phone signal from one of the people on the plane was detected around 11 p.m. Saturday near Omak, Washington.

Volunteers from the Civil Air Patrol and Washington Air Search and Rescue were assisting WSDOT Aviation Emergency Services.

CNN contributed to this report.

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2 comments

  • EdwardAPeak

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  • constance Harris

    Competition as it is mandated now in schools is ruining our children’s enjoyment of education. It pits student against student & makes the high achievers targets & makes the low & average achievers feel less worthy. Parents are supposed to impose the the pressure they feel is needed to boost their child to do THEIR best not the unattainable BEST of their peers. Every one is going to need to make a living and survive in this world regardless of their academic ability. Yes, the experience of competition is important to have,but it should not be imposed on our children from preschool throughout 12th grade as the most important element. Humanistic education focuses on building a child’s self esteem &self confidence to gain achievement not just achievement. This way when you are engaged in subject that may not be your best area you don’t condem yourself to belief you are worthless & give up on life. Childhood education should be full of multiple experiences and wonder, encouraging the desire to learn & know more, not just focus on the one area you do well.!!!!!

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