Woman stranded near Grand Canyon for days recounts trip that went bad

- New details are released Thursday on a woman who was rescued south of the Grand Canyon, after she was reportedly stranded for five days.

That woman, identified as Amber Vanhecke, is now back home in Dallas, Texas. She reportedly got lost on the Havasupai Reservation. The 24-year-old was on a Spring Break trip, one she is likely to never forget, and one she is likely to never want to live through again.

Vanhecke documented her long days, which was spent stranded in the Arizona desert, 20 miles away from civilization, with a video diary. Vanhecke said it all began with a trip to Havasupai, after a day at the Grand Canyon.

"It started with a dumb decision," said Vanhecke. "Gas was $2.70 right outside the Grand Canyon, and I wanted to fill up before I went in and I was like, 'that's really expensive. I'll just get enough to get me to the Grand Canyon."

Vanhecke, however, made a wrong turn, and before she could find her way, her car ran out of gas, and it was getting dark.

The day after, she used rocks to spell out the word "help", in hopes of getting found.

"I'd seen enough movies where people built help signs," said Vanhecke. In the meantime, Vanhecke said she carefully rationed her food.

"I was eating dried nuts, fruits, seeds, and ramen when I cooked it on the dashboard," said Vanhecke.

In addition, Vanhecke only allowed herself two bottles of water per day. She had 34 bottles of water with her. Her phone remain charged, thanks to her car's battery.

By the fifth day, however, Vanhecke decided she had to leave the safety of her car and supplies, and go search for cellphone service.

"I wrote a note," said Vanhecke. "I'm walking east to try to find a cell phone signal, if you read this, please come help me."

She was finally able to call 911, after hiking for about 20 miles. After 49 seconds, however, the call dropped.

"I wasn't sure I'd given enough information to them to help me," Vanhecke recounted.

The short call, however, was enough for rescuers to arrive in a helicopter. Vanhecke said the ordeal has taught her a few things, one of which is to listen to her gut, and follow her inner advice, which, at the time, was go get gas.


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