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Woman Falls 200-Feet, Hikes to Safety with Broken Neck

By Emily Morgan,

Photo by: Mario Tama / Staff

A Colorado hiker is lucky to be alive after she plunged 200 feet while hiking in the San Gabriel Mountains in California.

Last Christmas Eve, 40-year-old Ruth Woroniecki summited Cucamonga Peak and began hiking down the mountain. Around mid-day, she slipped on a patch of ice. As a result, the Colorado native tumbled 200 feet.

According to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, the woman broke her neck due to the fall. In addition, she also suffered a significant head wound and facial lacerations. A GoFundMe for Woroniecki has since been started to help with her medical expenses.

Despite suffering severe injuries, she managed to hike 150 feet to a clearing in the woods to get rescued by a helicopter. In addition, she was forced to hold her broken neck to avoid injuring it further as she hiked to safety.

Woroniecki is happy to have survived the incident despite all the hurdles she faced. However, she notes that it may not have been possible if it weren’t for fellow hikers who found her after the fall. “I’m just deeply, deeply grateful,” she noted.

Before the fall, she was camping with her family in the Lytle Creek area when she left to hike solo.

Fellow hikers rally around woman after she plunges 200 feet while hiking

Although she couldn’t remember the actual fall, when she regained consciousness, she woke up to find good samaritans who were by her side. In addition, one hiker was trying to send first responders her GPS coordinates. Another was covering her with a coat.

Later, a search and rescue team found Woroniecki, and they determined a rescue helicopter was needed to get her out of the area, according to the SBSD.

Despite their best efforts, the team could not get to her as “gusty winds” were coming over the Cucamonga Saddle.

As a result, she was forced to hike 150 feet to a nearby opening, where the helicopter could safely get her out of the area.

Later, she was transported via ambulance to a nearby hospital for medical attention.

According to news outlets, she’s still trying to recover from her fall but is on her feet— something she describes as “extremely exciting.” In addition, she says she’s used her faith to help her find the strength to get better.

“That’s what I was saying about prayer,” Woroniecki noted. She recalled that right after the fall, she thought, “Jesus, now, help me. Be with me.”

She added, “He brought me that sense of hope and comfort, and he got me through.”

According to Chris Mejia of the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, it’s “a miracle” that Woroniecki survived the fall.

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