Morro Bay hikers find woman who survived 7 days after driving off Big Sur cliff

Angela Hernandez sits with Morro Bay resident Chelsea Moore after she was found at the bottom of a Monterey County cliff in July.
Angela Hernandez sits with Morro Bay resident Chelsea Moore after she was found at the bottom of a Monterey County cliff in July.

A pair of San Luis Obispo County residents who were camping in Big Sur became unlikely heroes Friday, locating an Oregon woman who had been missing for seven days after driving her car over a cliff.

Chelsea and Chad Moore — Morro Bay residents who both work in San Luis Obispo — spotted a white 2011 Jeep Patriot belonging to 23-year-old Angela Hernandez, who was last seen July 6, at the bottom of an oceanside cliff while hiking along the beach about 6:30 p.m. Friday.

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The couple were camping at Kirk Creek Campground in Big Sur, according to Chelsea Moore’s mother, Luanne Sandvik.

Hernandez was driving from Portland to Southern California when she mysteriously disappeared and fell out of communication with her family, officials said. She was spotted last on a surveillance camera at a gas station south of Carmel.

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Angela Hernandez, 23, who had been missing since July 6, was found Friday night near Highway 1 in Big Sur, California. The Oregon woman was found near the Nacimiento-Fergusson Road area of Hwy. 1. Monterey County Sheriff's Office

Sandvik said the Moores gathered a few items from the scene, including the Jeep’s license plate, to take back to the campground and report to authorities. About 30 minutes later, they located Hernandez, who was injured but in stable condition.

Chad Moore stayed with Hernandez on the beach, while Chelsea Moore ran back to the campground and called 911.

Multiple agencies responded to the remote location and brought Hernandez back up to the roadway. She was transported by ambulance to a waiting helicopter, then taken to Twin Cities Community Hospital in Templeton, reported.

Hernandez told authorities she swerved to avoid hitting an animal the morning of July 6 along the winding stretch of Highway 1.

She then lost control of her vehicle and plunged about 200 feet off a cliff north of Nacimiento-Ferguson Road at the south end of Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park, according to California Highway Patrol.

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To stay hydrated, Hernandez reportedly used a radiator hose from her vehicle to siphon water from a nearby stream.

“My sister is alive, she’s talking, and she’s still trying to come to understand everything,” Angela’s sister, Isabel Hernandez, wrote on Facebook Saturday morning. “She’s a fighter and she fought this long and she will continue to. It’s not going to be an easy recovery. I hope everyone will have patience for her and her recovery.”

Sandvik said Chad Moore has lived on the Central Coast most of his life and works with his father in the family-owned Acropolis Lighting in San Luis Obispo.

Chelsea Moore, who graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Landscape Architecture, works as a designer at RRM Design Group in San Luis Obispo, Sandvik said.

Chad and Chelsea Moore, who were still camping Saturday, could not be reached for comment.