Woman Trapped in Car for Eight Days Writes Book to Cope

PHOTO Tanya Rider was trapped in a car for 8 days after a car crash without food or water and survived.
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Tanya Rider, who was trapped in a ravine for eight days without food or water after her car catapulted into a ditch, said she has learned life lessons from the near death experience.

"I think that it's been really hard to understand the recovery process especially if you don't remember something, but what I've learned that's most important is that you need to face it," Rider told "Good Morning America." "I've tried to bury it, but it's not the way to handle things. You have to take pride in what you've gone through and become stronger from it."

Rider doesn't remember how her car ended up in a ravine, but the Washington state woman does remember her terror at being trapped inside her car.

"I have bits and pieces, but I remember tugging at my seatbelt," Rider said. "I remember my cell phone ring and trying to reach it and not being able to reach it. I remember cars going by and banging on my window for someone to hear me."

Rider, then 33, suffered a broken collar bone, dislocated shoulder, kidney damage and a mangled leg after her Honda Element plunged off the road in Redmond, Wash., in 2007. She remained trapped in the car for eight days, in terrible pain and without any food or water.

She describes the experience in her new book, "Missing Without a Trace: 8 Days of Horror," which came out this week.

"I think the book helped me surface feelings I was trying to bury," she said.

Click HERE to read an excerpt from the book.

During that time of her disappearance, her frantic husband, Tom, begged police to start searching for her, but he said he met with resistance.

Police ignored his initial pleas for help and wasted valuable time scrutinizing him, Tom Rider said after his wife's rescue.

"I kind of felt like they [the police] were taking it not very seriously, Tom Rider told "GMA." "In fact their quote was 'She's an adult, she can go where she wants and she does not have to tell you a thing.' And I didn't want to accept that answer so I pressed and pressed and were finally able to get them to take a report. I made it so loud they could not ignore the case."

Before her rescue, Tanya Rider was last seen on the morning of Sept. 20, 2007. She worked overnight and her husband worked during the day, so it was two days before he realized that she was missing.

King's County sheriff's spokesperson Deputy Rodney Chinnick told The Associated Press that they followed procedure in this case.

"It's not like we didn't take him seriously," Chinnick said, but mounting a search after a person is missing for one day is not practical. "We don't take every missing person report on adults. ... If we did, we'd be doing nothing but going after missing person reports."

Tom Rider said authorities finally began to search after his second attempt to contact them for assistance.

"An officer came out and kind of had the attitude like they weren't going to do much," he said. "So then I kind of made his jaw drop when I told him to go search the house and get that over with."

Cell Phone Signal Leads to Injured Woman

Detectives were able to narrow their search after roughly pinpointing Rider's cell phone signal. They eventually spotted her car in some matted brush along the road she routinely traveled to and from work.

Ironically, the good news came just as Tom Rider was sitting down with authorities to take a polygraph test. He said he agreed to the test so he could be eliminated as a suspect as fast as possible.

The cause of the crash was unknown, though authorities and Rider's husband had speculated that she may have simply fallen asleep behind the wheel.

Tanya Rider is determined to learn from this though time and share her experience with everyone.

"Moving forward ... it's the only way to move" she said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Click here to return to the "Good Morning America" website.

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