Alabama Woman Badly Injured in Near-Fatal Crash Survives After Wandering in Woods for 35 Hours

Lisa Holman was just one mile from her Alabama home on Friday when she lost control of her car, and the vehicle swerved down a rain-soaked embankment and hit a tree. Holman, 45, would spend the next 35 hours fighting to stay alive in Shelby County woods.

Holman crashed around 10 p.m. on County Road 36 in Pelham, police officials said in a news conference. She suffered six cracked ribs, a broken clavicle, a fractured vertebrae and a lacerated spleen, according to AL.com.

“She was confused. She was down in a hole. It was very dark,” Pelham Police Chief Larry Palmer said at the news conference, noting that Holman told him she believes she passed out that night. “When she woke up, she realized she needed to get out of the car. Something told her to get out.”

She managed to climb out of the back door of the car, and began walking toward what she believed to be the road nearby. However, she soon found that she had been going the wrong way, and had wandered deep into the woods.

“She said, ‘I couldn’t walk anymore, and I was hurt,’ ” Holman’s sister, Kathy Holman Caufield, said, according to AL.com. “She crouched under like an animal would have. She said she slept off and on. She said time passed quicker than you would have thought.”

Caufield added: “She said she never worried about animals, like coyotes, or snakes, or spiders or ant beds.”

Holman’s 17-year-old son, Jackson, found her crashed vehicle Saturday morning and called the police when he realized his mother was not inside, according to AL. They reported Holman missing that day.

“We put first our K9 back in the area in hopes of picking up a scent trail,” Palmer said at the news conference. “Our drones to see anything that we could from the air and then we put our search teams in. The first search team that went in located her just a few minutes later by calling our her name and she answered.”

Holman was rescued around 8:30 a.m. on Sunday. Palmer called it a “miracle.”

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On Monday, Holman met at least two of the nearly 500 volunteers who helped find her, according to WBMA. From her hospital bed, she smiled and laughed with her rescuers. In a statement, the family thanked those who helped save the woman.

“Needless to say, the last two days have been very emotional for our family; Lisa’s rescue Sunday morning was definitely an answered prayer,” the family said in a statement released on the police department’s Facebook page.

“Amazingly, she has suffered only a few broken bones and other minor injuries as a result of the accident. Her ability to withstand these injuries, the weather conditions, and the length of time in the woods is a testament to her resiliency.”