Washington hiker stranded for 2 days with broken leg before discovered by runner on trail

A woman in Washington state spent two days stranded on a trail with a broken leg, wondering if she was going to make it out alive, before a trail runner heard the barks of her dog, found her, and then got help.

Barbara Dadswell was out hiking with her dog on the Ashland Lake trail in Snohomish County on Sept. 14, about 60 miles north of Seattle, when she slipped on a log, broke her leg, and fell into a ravine.

"Slipped. And it snapped. And I don’t know how it happened. It just happened so fast," Dadswell told KOMO News. "I knew the second it happened. I screamed so loud I thought the bears would go for help. But they’re no help."

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Dadswell, who only had 4 bottles of water and some Slim Jims when she fell, then spent the next day and a half using her dog's backpack, shoestrings and sticks to create a splint for her leg while attempting to once again reach the trailhead.

Matthew Medina helped get rescuers to Barbara Dadswell after she slipped, broke her leg, and fell down a ravine. Medina heard her dog barking while out running, and discovered her.

Matthew Medina helped get rescuers to Barbara Dadswell after she slipped, broke her leg, and fell down a ravine. Medina heard her dog barking while out running, and discovered her. (KOMO News via NNS)

On the second day of attempting to crawl up to the trailhead, a runner heard the cries of her dog and came across the injured hiker.

"I feel like it was a big coincidence or it was just a lot of luck. I had a friend that suggested the trail. And I had some time that evening to go for a trail run. Yeah, she was very lucky that day," the runner, Matthew Medina, told KOMO News.

After discovering Dadswell, Medina then ran two miles down to her car to get her food and other supplies. He then went back to the car and drove to a Ranger Station to call 911.

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About 20 people from the Snohomish County Volunteer Search & Rescue responded to the scene and spent several hours rescuing Dadswell from the remote and rugged trail.

"It’s very satisfying," volunteer rescuer Mike Loney told the television station. "It makes you proud to be out there with the team doing what you do. It certainly feels good to make a difference sometimes."

Dadswell, who underwent surgery last week on her knee, has since been moved from the hospital to a rehabilitation facility.

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Medina told KOMO News he's just grateful he went for a run after finishing work for the day.

"The fact that she’s able to walk away from this now is really good," he said Tuesday. "Definitely got my workout for the day. It was a long day, but it was worth it."