Woman survives 12 hours in frigid weather after friend’s car plunges into creek

A car that plummeted into a California creek last week left a woman stranded on a tree for 12 hours in the frigid wilderness and another woman dead.

The East Bay Times reported Friday that Natalie Griffin was still recovering from Wednesdays accident that left Jenna Santos dead. The two were in a car accident off a Mendocino County highway, which left Santos dead and Griffin holding on for dear life before she swam to shore to get help.

The pair was on the way home from visiting friends in Humboldt County, where Santos attended Humboldt State University. They were traveling on Highway 101 in the middle of a storm when their vehicle hydroplaned and went over an embankment, flipping several times, before crashing into Outlet Creek.

The girls attempted to kick out the front windshield, but it made things worse. Monica Keyser, Santos cousin, told the paper that the girls noticed the back window was broken. Griffin told Santos to follow her out that way, but she wasnt sure if her fellow high school classmate followed her out.

Griffin told PEOPLE Magazine that the strong current kept her from reaching Santos.

That was one of the scariest parts, I thought it was a nightmare, I was so in shock that my friend was in the car, dead, she said. I really thought this was a bad dream.

Griffin was carried down the fast-moving creek and managed to grab into a partially submerged tree and then onto the branches. She hung onto the branches until the next morning. Griffin is a yoga enthusiast and was able to stay warm by doing stretches.

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