Seattle A woman who spent eight days trapped in a wrecked vehicle has severe injuries, but her brain function is normal and she can move her arms and legs, her physician said Friday.
Tanya Rider, 33, was found alive but dehydrated at the bottom of a steep ravine in suburban Maple Valley on Thursday, more than a week after she failed to return home from work. After being cut out of her SUV by rescuers, she was taken to Seattle's Harborview Medical Center, where she was in critical condition.
Dr. Lisa McIntyre said during a hospital news conference Friday that while Rider was doing better, she's "not out of the woods yet." McIntyre said Rider's kidneys failed because of toxins from a muscle injury in the crash and dehydration. She was sedated, on a ventilator and being treated with intravenous fluids.
Rider broke her collar bone and dislocated her shoulder in the accident and has pressure sores from the days of being held by the seat belt, probably upside down, the doctor said. Her caregivers were not yet sure of the extent of a leg injury but McIntyre said they were hopeful it would not have to be amputated.
She said Rider was probably alive because she was young and healthy and was wearing a seat belt.
"She's a fighter, obviously," said Rider's husband, Tom. "She fought to stay alive in the car and she's fighting now."
Tom Rider said he was frustrated by the red tape he had to fight to get authorities to launch a search for his wife more than a week after she disappeared.
"Any policy that restricts officers from saving a life is a wrong policy," he said. "No one else should have to go through what she went through."
Authorities said they followed procedure in the case.
"It's not that we didn't take him seriously," Deputy Rodney C. Chinnick said. "We don't take every missing person report on adults. ... If we did, we'd be doing nothing but going after missing person reports."