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Driver rescued after spending 8 hours trapped in car over embankment

A man is lucky to be alive after spending more than 8 hours trapped in his car that crashed over an embankment early Saturday morning.

Posted: May 18, 2019 9:36 PM

ILLINOIS VALLEY, Ore. -- A man is lucky to be alive after spending more than 8 hours trapped in his car that crashed over an embankment early Saturday morning.

Ned Booth, Public Information Officer for the Illinois Valley Fire District, said crews were dispatched to a car over the cliff past the Page Mountain Snow Park on the California side Saturday at 10:10 a.m.

Crews found a car over a 50-foot embankment on a 40 degree slope. A single tree was holding the car from going another 1,000 feet to the bottom of a ravine. Crews used a winch to secure the car and set up a rope haul system to lower down equipment. Booth said the tricky rescue was difficult due to the degree of the slope and the location of the patient.

They managed to rescue the driver who was hypothermic, bleeding internally, and had a badly fractured leg. The man had been in the car since 2 a.m. 

Responders say the man told them he thought he was going to die in his car. He was taken to the Snow Park and transferred to the Mercy Flights helicopter and flown to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center.

Booth said a special thank you goes to Happy Camp resident Laurie Bowers who saw skid marks on the road, stopped to investigate and called 911 even though she could not see the crash from the road. Booth said had she not taken the effort to help, the patient most likely would have died. The road is not heavily traveled this time of year. 

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