Atascadero resident Debra Lopez, 57, recounted Thursday a three-day ordeal that began after she inadvertently drove her truck off Highway 1 south of Ragged Point on Saturday.
Lopez said she was simply enjoying a drive along the coastal route regularly driven by her husband, a former dairy delivery driver, when she took her eyes off the road briefly to put out a cigarette.
After emerging from the truck a day later, Lopez said she prayed and thought of her husband and family worrying about her to motivate her for a two-day trek up the cliff. She climbed about 150 feet to the highway above, where she was picked up by a passing motorist.
Lopez told of the moment she was reunited with her husband of 30 years at Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.
“He said, ‘What the heck happened?’ ” Lopez said. “I told him about the truck, and he says, ‘I don’t care about the truck.’ ”
Lopez remained in the hospital Thursday for treatment of dehydration. She said she hopes to be released Friday and is looking forward to returning home.