Woman stops to check skid marks, finds badly injured man

Responders found the driver suffering from hypothermia, with a fractured leg and internal bleeding.

Associated Press

PORTLAND, Ore. — An Oregon woman likely saved a man’s life when she stopped to investigate skid marks on a mountain road and spotted an SUV crashed below, emergency responders said.

Laurie Bowers of Happy Camp on Saturday morning stopped to look over a cliff on Grayback Road, a circuitous route in the Siskiyou Mountains of southwest Oregon. Bowers spotted a red Jeep about 50 feet below, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported.

A single tree held the SUV from sliding down a roughly 40-degree slope, said Ned Booth, public information officer at the Illinois Valley Fire District. The vehicle otherwise likely would have plunged another 1,000 feet, (305 meters), Booth said.

“It’s a good thing she was traveling by,” Booth said.

Emergency responders found the driver suffering from hypothermia. He had a badly fractured leg and internal bleeding. He was airlifted to Asante Rogue Regional Medical Center in Medford.

The extraction of the driver on the steep mountainside was perilous, Booth said.

The driver’s name has not yet been released. Booth said the man was in his 30s or early 40s.

The driver told rescuers he crashed at around 2 a.m. Saturday. Rescuers were dispatched shortly after 10 a.m.

Search and rescue crews often take some time to reach rural parts of the Siskiyou Mountains. However, a team of paramedics and rescue personnel were conducting a routine exercise in Cave Junction and were able to respond quickly, Booth said.

“Everything just worked out real nice,” he said.

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