Teen tells store owner she walked for days after surviving a plane crash in the mountains


On Saturday afternoon, a plane carrying an elderly couple and one teenager took off from Kalispell, Montana, heading to Lynden, Washington. It didn’t arrive at its destination 150 miles away.

Police searched unsuccessfully for the plane, until late Monday, when a girl walked into The Mazama Store in Mazama, Washington. She told an employee she’d been wandering around, trying to find her way out of the mountains, Mazama Store manager Serena Lockwood told Fusion.

“She seemed kind of in shock and dazed,” Lockwood told Fusion.

Mazama’s a tiny town, population of 200, tucked up in northern Washington. Lockwood told Fusion that the girl, identified as 16-year-old Autumn Veatch, told an employee at the store that the plane had crashed in the North Cascades on Saturday, which sit about 40 miles east of Mazama.

Lockwood told Fusion a driver spotted Veatch on Highway 20, and drove her to Mazama, the closest place with phone access. One of the store’s employees was an EMT, and they checked out Veatch after calling 911 and waiting for some type of aid, Lockwood said.

It is unclear whether the elderly couple—Veatch’s step-grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman—is still alive.

CBS Seattle reports that Veatch’s injuries are “non life-threatening and minor.”

Michael Rosen is a reporter for Fusion based out of Oakland.

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