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A US teenager who survived a plane crash in the craggy, thickly forested mountains of north-central Washington state emerged from the wilderness after hiking “for a couple of days” and was picked up by a motorist who drove her to safety, authorities have said. But the fate of her two step-grandparents, who were also on board, remained unclear. Family members alerted authorities when the Beech A-35 light plane failed to complete its flight from Kalispell, Montana, to Lynden, Washington state, on Saturday afternoon. Rescuers narrowed down a search area based on cellphone data and typical flight patterns. But there was no sign of the aircraft or its occupants until Autumn Veatch, 16, followed a trail to Highway 20, near the east entrance to North Cascades national park. A motorist picked her up on Monday afternoon and drove her 30 miles east to a general store in Mazama, where employees called 911. The Aero Methow Rescue Service sent a paramedic team to check her out before she was taken to a hospital in Brewster for treatment of what appeared to be minor injuries, said Cindy Button, director of services at the organization. Rescuers celebrated Veatch’s survival but immediately returned their focus to finding the wreckage, aided by Veatch’s description of the crash site, said Lieutenant Colonel Jeffrey Lustick of the Civil Air Patrol. Lustick said he could not confirm any details about the condition of the grandparents, Leland and Sharon Bowman of Marion, Montana.

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