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Pennsylvania woman survives 18 hours trapped in crumpled SUV after late-night wreck

Police believe this SUV crossed the center line, struck a pole and went airborne about 20 feet before landing on its front and flipping over onto its roof late Saturday in West Hempfield Township, Pa. West Hempfield Township, Pa., Police Department

A Pennsylvania teenager was in fair condition Monday after she lay pinned inside her wrecked, overturned SUV for almost 18 hours over the weekend before a nearby resident spotted her.

Brooke Spence, 18, of Mount Joy was conscious and talking as firefighters cut her from her 2002 Dodge Durango, which tumbled into a culvert 20 feet below the roadway sometime between 11 and 11:30 p.m. ET Saturday, West Hempfield Township police said in a statement.

It wasn't until 5:07 p.m. Sunday that Brad Shearer noticed something glinting near his home a few yards from the accident scene in West Hempstead. 

"I was looking down in the driver's side window, and I saw something move," Shearer told NBC station WGAL of Lancaster. "She was laying on her back and (moved her head). Then I could see her face. 

"I went, 'Oh, my God, she's alive. There's someone in there,'" he said.

The police statement said investigators believe Spence crossed the center line, struck a utility pole and flew about 20 feet. The SUV landed on its front end and flipped onto its roof in the culvert.

Other nearby residents heard the crash late Saturday and went looking, but they didn't find anything, West Hempstead Township police Lt. Douglas Ober told the Intelligencer Journal/Lancaster New Era newspaper.

So Spence remained there, trapped, through the rest of the night, all Sunday morning and nearly all of Sunday afternoon before Shearer came to her rescue.

Ober said he didn't think speed or alcohol were involved. 

"I'm leaning toward fatigue at this point," he said. "She had a very busy day — just typical 18-year-old stuff."

Police wouldn't give details of the young woman's injuries, but WGAL reported that she was in fair condition Monday night at Lancaster General Hospital.

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