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OSP Sergeant and Trooper Find Hypothermic Man in Remote Wooded Area of Northeast Douglas County
02/09/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

Photograph link valid 30 days - Source: Oregon State Police
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Following a near two-day search, an Oregon State Police (OSP) sergeant and trooper found a hypothermic man after he fled his vehicle 48 hours earlier following a non-injury crash on Highway 138E near the Lemolo Lake junction in northeast Douglas County. The 37-year old man is being treated at a Roseburg-area hospital.
 
On February 8, 2012 at approximately 3:00 p.m. OSP Roseburg Patrol Sergeant Dave Randall and Fish & Wildlife Division Senior Trooper Don Frerichs found JASON D. COOPER, age 37, from Temecula, California in a wooded area north of Highway 138E. COOPER, who was only wearing a fleece jacket, shorts, and sandals, was the focus of an area search after he left his car and walked into the woods Monday, February 6, following a non-injury two vehicle crash near milepost 71.
 
OSP troopers initially responded to the 2:00 p.m. traffic crash and arrived in the area 90 minutes later. They contacted the other driver who told them a man got out of the other vehicle acting strangely and fled south into the woods not dressed for the cold, snowy conditions.
 
OSP learned COOPER was the car’s registered owner and contacted his family in California. Randall, Frerichs and Senior Trooper Kevin Vanatta followed tracks in the foot-deep snow about a mile from the roadway but discontinued due to darkness. They returned to the road and patrolled the area until midnight.
 
OSP contacted local area lodges and the ODOT outpost advising them that a man may be on foot in the area and to contact OSP if spotted. There were no reports the next day so Randall and Frerichs returned February 8 at 9:00 a.m. to renew their area search and found tracks leading across the highway to the north. Snowmobiles were brought for use if needed. Randall and Frerichs followed the tracks north into the woods on foot for about five miles to a point where it appeared the tracks headed further away from the highway on a remote road.
 
They returned back to their pickup, got the snowmobiles and traveled up the remote road about 1 ½ miles where they found the man lying on the ground covered with tree branches. COOPER, who had no food or water, told them he couldn’t walk anymore and used the branches to try and keep warm. Frerichs gave him a sandwich and water before he was transported back to the highway on a snowmobile. An ambulance was dispatched while Randall and Frerichs drove west toward Roseburg. They met the ambulance about mid-point and transferred COOPER to the paramedics’ care. COOPER was taken to Mercy Medical Center where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries.