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Video: Survivor Scales Mountain with Montrose Search and Rescue Team

Still in a post-traumatic haze, Tracy Granger met some of her rescuers in the hospital back in March. On Thursday, she met everyone -- and this time, she'll remember every moment.

This time when scrabbled down the mountainside, she did it on purpose, attached to a harnass, sandwiched among three Montrose Search and Rescue deputies. 

The 56-year-od Juniper Falls resident asked the people who saved her life to take her back to the place in which she almost lost her life. On Thursday, peering over the rocky edge, Granger looked into the canyon where she spent 12 frigid hours last spring and steadied herself as rescue workers strapped her into a harness and assured her they would be with her.

Granger recollected her agonizing account of nearly dying last March, after her white truck hit a patch of ice and plunged over the side of Angeles Forest Highway into a snowy canyon 350 feet below. Granger, her truck camouflaged by snow, tried everything from mental telepathy with her husband, to talking with herself, to try to stay alive. 

She'd been driving through Angeles National Forest en route home when she lost control of the car and careened down the mountain. Granger remembered smelling gas, she said, so she climbed out of her truck to try to find refuge in the near freezing hillside. The next thing she remembers she woke up in the hospital.

During her two weeks at Huntington Memorial Hospital, Granger said she knew she met the rescuers who saved her life, but she really doesn't remember them. Physically, she's still recovering, with a sporadic tightness in her neck and back, but mentally, she said, she needed closure. 

"I needed to do this. I wanted to say thank you to these wonderful people and see this place,'' she said, adding that deputies drove her to the spot Thursday in which she repelled down with search and rescue personnel. She hasn't driven on Angeles Forest Highway since the accident, and doesn't plan to any time soon. 

As for what the re-enactment is costing the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Public Information Officer Nicole Nishida pointed out these rescuers are volunteers.

"The three down there with her right now - one's a physical therapist, one's a banker and one's a carpenter,'' she said. 

Of the 250 rescues Montrose Search and Rescue has clocked this year, this is the only one where the survivor asked to return to the scene of the accident. 

 

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