Granby woman who survived five-day car crash ordeal to be released from hospital soon
September 24, 2009
A Granby woman who was traveling from Black Hawk and rolled her car – spending five days and nights enduring rain, hail and nighttime temperatures around 40 degrees – is expected to be released from the hospital this weekend.
Colorado Workforce Center Employment Specialist Cindy Hoover – who suffered eight broken ribs, bruising and a slight injury to her left arm – rolled her car about 105 feet down a steep embankment of the Central City Parkway on Thursday evening, Sept. 10.
On Sept. 15 in the afternoon, a tour operator found Hoover near the Hidee Mine after hearing her cries for help. Emergency crews from Central City Police, Central City Fire Departments and the Gilpin Ambulance responded to the scene. Hoover was airlifted to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver.
She was treated for injuries and severe dehydration for two days in the intensive care unit until moved to general hospital care.
“She’s in so much pain with the ribs, they’re keeping her medicated,” said Workforce co-worker Lisa Pederson. Hoover is expected to be released this weekend, Pederson said.
Pederson visited Hoover at the hospital last Sunday. According to her, Hoover relayed that the accident was caused by an attempt to avoid a rock in the road. She overcorrected the vehicle, which caused it to fly over the embankment and roll down the hillside until it rested at the edge of a grove of trees.
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Statements in a report released by the Central City Police Department indicate Hoover encountered deer on the road. She missed two deer, then a third one appeared, at which time Hoover swerved and lost control of the vehicle, according to the police department.
The vehicle was “impossible to be seen from the road,” the report states. Since windows of the vehicle had been open, several items flew from the car when it rolled, including Hoover’s eyeglasses, extra clothes, her cell phone and her laptop. Her cell phone has not yet been found.
According to Pederson, those close to Hoover suspect she may have been unconscious for some time following the accident.
On what may have been Saturday, rain entered the car. Hoover pushed down the deployed airbag to make a crease, from which she funneled water into her mouth, Pederson said.
“The worst part was when she got out to try to crawl up the hill,” Pederson said.
The police report states, “the victim used a dog leash, tied it around the door post of the car to pull herself free of the wreckage.”
Due to her injuries, Hoover was unable to walk. She tried to pull herself up the hill back onto the road. But she didn’t make it far.
She then pulled herself downhill, about 325 feet, onto the Hidee Mine property and stayed there until she was rescued days later.
“She was scared of the wildlife,” Pederson said. “She was scared to go to sleep, so she barely slept and kept trying to find somebody to help her.”
Hoover had been traveling the route to Black Hawk more than once a month to play the slot machines.
When Hoover didn’t show up to work that Friday, Pederson said she assumed Hoover had accumulated too many hours that week and was taking the day off.
“But when Monday she didn’t show up, I had a bad feeling,” Pederson said.
Hoover’s Volkswagon Passat was completely crushed along the entire passenger side.
“If someone would have been on the passenger side, they wouldn’t have survived,” Hoover’s co-worker surmised.
But the driver’s side was considerably less damaged.
“Someone is watching over her,” Pederson said.
– Tonya Bina can be reached at 970-887-3334 ext. 19603 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.