A missing Texas grandmother survived for two days on oily water wrung out of a T-shirt and three Sprites before she was found lying next to her car in a ravine, her family said.
Wanda Mobley, 75, from Brownwood, Texas left for a road trip to McAlister early Friday morning, according to her granddaughter Amanda Russ of Azle. When she didn’t make it and her family couldn’t reach her, they set out searching.
“It was surreal because we didn’t ever expect this to happen to us,” Russ said. "A missing person in your family...it’s just not something you expect.”
U.S. & World
Russ says they filed a missing persons report, posted across social media and drove through some of the areas she may have crossed without any luck.
Late Saturday, the sheriff’s office delivered the news Mobley’s cell phone was last pinged near Seymour, Texas, according to Russ.
Russ says a family member who was on the way to Seymour to post fliers noticed a road sign down along U.S. Highway 183 late Saturday night. Early Sunday morning, family was drawn back to the area and discovered her next to her vehicle.
“They couldn’t see her car from the road, but they just saw this one tiny sign down,” Russ said. “It was a miracle, really.”
The stretch of U.S. Highway 183 where Mobley ran off of the road is very rural.
The nearest house is approximately two miles from the crash site, according to Baylor County Sheriff Bob Elliott, and the car was found about 150 yards away from the road.
"She could have been there for a long time and nobody would ever see her," Elliott said. "About the only thing you can say is she's a very lucky lady."
"She's lucky to have some grandkids that were very interested in finding their grandmother," Elliott added.
Mobley’s family later learned how she survived from Friday to Sunday morning lying near her car injured.
“She busted out the windshield and crawled out,” Russ said. “She didn’t have any food or water with her – there was some Sprite she had in the backseat because she was going on a trip, and it had flown up to the front seat, she was able to reach in and grab those out of the car.”
Russ says she also used a T-shirt to soak up some oily water coming from the car to drink.
“She just kinda laid her head on a rock and my sister was telling me she just kinda sopped up the water that had run out of the car and survived on the water and three Sprites – for 48 hours, that’s all she had,” according to Russ.
She was airlifted to the hospital, where doctors learned she had a compression fracture to her lower back and some other cuts and bruises. Russ says she is recovering, but may have to have surgery.
“I said 'we were looking for you all day,' and she said 'I knew you were looking for me,'” Russ said. "She goes, 'you just have to have to have faith in God that He’s going to look out for you' and I think that is part of what kept her going – she knew everybody was looking for her and we were out searching.”
NBC 5's Ben Russell contributed to this report.