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AUTHOR'S SON SURVIVES 5 DAYS OF PAIN AND THIRST

In so much pain from a 25-foot fall that he could only roll sideways, the son of author Dominick Dunne lay on a mountainside for five days unable to eat or drink.

Finally, after gulping drops of an afternoon rain, Alex Dunne forced himself to walk to survive, his family said. He emerged from the mountain forest Thursday, nearly a week after he disappeared."We just hugged him," his father said. "We are thrilled that he's alive. I had sort of given up hope that he had survived."

It was well after nightfall by the time Dunne finished the 41/2-hour trek down a rugged mountain path to the car he left at the trailhead early Saturday on what was to have been a one-day hike.

There he found his older brother, actor-filmmaker Griffin Dunne, and the rescuers who had been searching for him since Monday in the heavily wooded Madera Canyon in the Coronado National Forest, about 50 miles south of Tucson.

Dunne, 38, was taken to a Tucson hospital for X-rays and was expected to be released later today. He did not break any bones but had cuts and scrapes.