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Disasters and Accidents

911 Tape: Teen Passenger Says No Others Survived Plane Crash

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Family photo
File photo of Leland and Sharon Bowman and the missing Beech 35 airplane.

In a newly released 911 recording, the teenage girl who walked away from a mountainside plane crash reported she was the only one to make it out alive.

Sixteen-year-old Autumn Veatch walked out of the rugged North Cascades on Monday afternoon, nearly two full days after the small plane she was riding in disappeared from radar. She flagged down a passing driver on the North Cascades Highway who took her to the country store in Mazama where they called 911.

The Bellingham, Washington, teenager was one of three family members on a single engine private plane that crash landed in or near North Cascades National Park on Saturday afternoon.

When the Okanogan County 911 operator asked if she was injured, Veatch replied, "Yeah, I have a lot of burns on my hands and I’m, like, kind of covered in bruises and scratches and stuff."

Veatch explained she was the only one who survived the crash, but could not say exactly where the crash scene was. Since that initial call for help, Veatch has provided the authorities more details on her harrowing trek out of the wilderness.

Civil Air Patrol spokeswoman 1st Lt. Jessica Jerwa said Tuesday that Veatch's recollections of landscape features have significantly narrowed the search area to the vicinity of Easy Pass.

Search and rescue teams are still looking for the plane wreckage to confirm the fate of the pilot and other passenger, who were Veatch's step-grandparents.

Leland Bowman, 62, of Marion, Montana, was the pilot of the Beech 35 aircraft. He was accompanied by his wife, Sharon, 63.

Veatch was transported by ambulance Monday afternoon from Mazama to a hospital in Brewster, Washington, where she was held overnight for treatment of shock and dehydration.