The moral of the story: Always hit the rabbit.
Hernandez, 23, of Portland, Ore., says in a Facebook post she doesn't remember much about what happened after she swerved to avoid the animal in Big Sur on the Pacific Coast Highway. She recalls coming to in her Jeep Patriot, with the Pacific Ocean leaking in. Before that, came the plunge from the road — down 200 feet to a rocky beach below.
"I was still in my car and I could feel water rising over my knees," she wrote. "My head hurt, and when I touched it, I found blood on my hands."Her power windows were up and the SUV was dead, so she broke the glass with a multitool and swam the shallows to shore, where she passed out.
"When I woke up, it was still daylight and it was only then that I had finally realized what had happened," she wrote. "I stood up onto my feet and noticed a huge pain in my shoulders, hips, back, and thighs. I saw nothing but rocks, the ocean, and a cliff that I knew I'd never be able to look over. I could see my car not too far from me, half washed up on shore with the roof ripped off of it."
What followed was seven days on the beach, injured from the wreck and trying to survive.
Hernandez said she emerged from the crash with no shoes, and over the next few days became footsore on the rocks, sunburned and dehydrated. She says she drank water from a radiator hose of her car (we hope she's mistaken about that.)
Meanwhile, she had been reported missing on her journey from Portland to California, and authorities had found evidence she was last seen July 6 on Highway 1 through Big Sur.
But heavy fog was complicating the search. Her wreckage went unspotted. And at the bottom of the cliff, Hernandez said she could see cars, but drivers couldn't see her. "I could see cars driving across the cliff and felt like if I could yell just loud enough, that one could hear or see me," she wrote. "That's all it would take to make it back to my family. Just one person noticing me."
On Friday the 13th, her luck changed. Chad and Chelea Moore were hiking the coastline, looking for a fishing spot.
"We saw a bumper first, and we were like hmm, there's a bumper. That's weird. And then came around another bend and saw the car," said Chelsea.
"There weren't any signs of people or blood or anything," Chelsea Moore told Portland's KOIN-TV. But her husband searched the shoreline for bodies because, "It looked like there wouldn't have been any survivors."
And then they saw Hernandez.
"Angela was right there in the rocks, just looked like hell," Chad Moore told KOIN. "But she was happy at the same time. She was happy to see us. We asked her, 'Were you in the Jeep?' and she said, 'That was my Jeep.'
"And at that point, we just kind of like panicked," Chelsea Moore added. "Like 'Oh my God, you were in that car we just saw and you're alive?' "
Rescue crews rappelled down to the beach, treated Hernandez and hoisted her up the cliff and to a hospital. Hernandez wrote on Facebook that she had suffered a brain hemorrhage, a collapsed lung, ruptured blood vessels in both eyes, and had broken four ribs and her collarbone.
She said that she is grateful that the couple found her on the beach. "I couldn't believe that they were even real," she wrote online. "I couldn't believe that we had finally found each other."