She likely locked up the steering wheel. Below the compression plate is a lock plate. It has slots around it that the column lock pin goes into to keep the wheel from turning without the key being in the run position. It's an anti-theft measure. If the pin binds on the plate, the key will bind as well. Very common situation. It can happen when someone gets their wheels bound up on a curb, or even when someone gets out of their car and their body rubs along the steering wheel, turning the wheel after the key is out. Happens to my wife all the time. The solution is to grab the wheel and try to rotate it one direction or the other. One direction will be a dead stop, the other will be stiff, but the wheel will move a few degrees. With the wheel pulled to the movable direction, and pressure is held in that direction, the bind will be removed and the key will be able to be turned.
1996 White ZJ
1987 Maroon YJ (sideways build)
1996 Forest Green XJ
The "sideways" build thread:
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