A 53-year-old San Rafael woman was rescued Thursday morning after she was trapped in her SUV for four hours at the bottom of a 20-foot embankment off Lucas Valley Road, authorities said.

Cassandre Jade was still conscious when she was rescued at about 7:30 a.m. from a shallow creek alongside the road northwest of San Rafael, the California Highway Patrol reported. Four hours earlier, she had veered off the road in her Toyota 4Runner and plunged down the embankment, possibly because she fell asleep while driving, accordingn to the CHP.

The vehicle struck two signposts before it left the roadway.

"Jade was not wearing her seatbelt and thus sustained major injuries to her head and face," the CHP said in a statement.

After sunrise, a pedestrian walking along the road spotted the vehicle and called the Marinwood Fire Department, which extracted Jade and tranported her to Marin General Hospital.

Contact Will Jason via email at wjason@marinij.com or via Twitter at http://twitter.com/willjason



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