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Elderly Woman Rescued After Several Hours Down Embankment in Crashed Car south of Ashland

March 18, 2014

Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext 247

Photograph links valid at least 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police

A 71-year old Talent-area woman was rescued Tuesday morning by firefighters after her car was found several hundred feet down a steep embankment off Old Highway 99 (Old Siskiyou Highway) east of Interstate 5 south of Ashland.

According to Sergeant Jeff Allison, on March 18, 2014 at approximately 8:46 a.m., Oregon State Police (OSP) and firefighters from Ashland and Jackson County responded to a report that an ODOT employee spotted the wreckage of a 2000 Mazda Protege down a steep embankment off Old Highway 99 near the exit to Mt. Ashland ski area. An elderly woman was found inside the wrecked car.

Firefighters from Ashland Fire & Rescue and Jackson County Fire District 5 and an OSP trooper used ropes to access the woman inside the vehicle. She was removed and taken approximately 100 yards up the steep embankment to the roadway. An air ambulance helicopter transported her to Providence Medford Medical Center where she was examined for possible injuries.

Preliminary investigation indicates the woman intentionally drove off the highway during the night and she was inside the car for several hours before the ODOT employee spotted her. Hospital staff said she didn't appear to have any physical injury and she was being held for a mental health evaluation. Her name is not being released at this time.

In addition to both responding fire departments, OSP was also assisted at the scene by ODOT. The highway was closed about two hours during the rescue and vehicle removal by a local tow company.

An update with some photos will be sent later if provided for release.

### www.oregon.gov/OSP ###