Remarkable Baker County Water Rescue Saves Man
The actual incident occurred October 5th, but the final report didn't come out til this weekend.
Three Umatilla County SAR (Search and Rescue) workers are being praised for saving the life of a motorist whom without their help, would have drowned or died from hypothermia.
On that day, Danita Smith, Destry Stewart and Travis Lundquist were searching for a missing hunter in Baker County. They were driving over the east fork of Eagle Creek when they heard a horn honking from below the bridge. Backing up, they saw a tire of an upside down vehicle below. Scrambling down the embankment, they found a man trapped inside the SUV. Somehow his vehicle had tumbled off the narrow bridge and landed on it's roof in the creek.
He told them he'd been in the water about 45 minutes. The doors of his vehicle were wedged and jammed due to the crash, and he had a shoulder injury. Water was rushing into his SUV, and he either would have died from drowning or hypothermia within an hour, according to the SAR team.
They used a car jack, axe and other tools they were able to tear off the door, rescue the man and get him aboard a Life Flight Emergency chopper. The man was transported, and at last word, was recovering well in a nearby hospital.
Kudos to these three SAR workers, who say they always keep their ears and eyes open when on missions for any other emergencies that may result and not be related to their primary search.