An Arizona rancher’s chance meeting with his brother saved the life of a seriously injured woman who had spent six days in the desert after her car went off the highway. David Moralez says he stopped to chat with his brother Zach after he spotted him working with a state Department of Transportation crew on US 60 on Oct. 18. As they were about to part ways, they noticed a hole in the fence and spotted a car stuck in a mesquite tree 50 feet down a ravine, the AP reports. Joined by a trooper who responded to their 911 call, they followed footprints for around 500 yards until they found the severely dehydrated 53-year-old woman, who had a dislocated shoulder, broken ribs, and a head injury.
“I don’t know if she could have made it there another night,” David Moralez tells NBC News. “She was in pretty rough shape when we found her.” Police say the woman told them she lost control of her vehicle on the highway near the town of Wicklenburg on Oct. 12. She spent a few days in the car before climbing out to seek help. She tried to walk to railroad tracks but was too weak to go on. She was airlifted to a hospital. Department of Public Safety Director Col. Frank Milstead says the woman’s life was saved due to the group’s “outstanding efforts.” David Moralez says that growing up on a ranch, he and his brother were taught to always watch out for broken fence line.