US tourist airlifted to hospital after car plunges 500 feet down English hill

An American tourist had to be airlifted to hospital after her car overturned and rolled almost 500 feet down a steep hill in a national park in England, officials said Monday.

The 50-year-old woman from Mequon, Wis. was driving her Mercedes C180 rental car through the Lake District National Park, in north-west England, when the vehicle left the road at about 1:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. ET) Friday, police said.

It overturned a number of times before finally coming to rest on its side.

“She somehow lost control of the car as she was coming down the pass,” Nick Owen, a team leader with the Langdale and Ambleside Mountain Rescue Team, said.

“It looked like she nudged one side of the road, corrected and went off the other side,” he added.

His team attended the scene with a number of other agencies, including the police and ambulance service.

Fire crews used specialist cutting equipment to remove the roof and the patient was placed on a spinal board and taken to hospital by a Royal Air Force, Sea King helicopter.

“She had head injuries,” Owen added. “She wasn’t in the best of states, but she was largely conscious.”

She was taken to the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.

Fire Service Watch Manager Martin Holroyd, said that there was surprisingly little damage to the vehicle that all the airbags had deployed, which had probably helped protect her.

"When you consider the distance it had gone, it was fortunate that she survived at all," he said. 

Her injuries were not life-threatening, police said, adding that there would be no further investigation into the accident.