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Update #4: Woman Dies From Injuries Sustained in April 17th Traffic Crash Into River - Highway 6 east of Tillamook
04/30/2012
Lieutenant Gregg Hastings
Public Information Officer
(503) 731-3020 ext. 247
gregg.hastings@state.or.us

Oregon State Police (OSP) confirmed a Tillamook-area woman passenger being treated at a Portland hospital after she was rescued from her submerged car April 17th died from her injuries. The crashoccurred along Highway 6 in the Wilson River east of Tillamook. The car's driver got out of the vehicle with the help of two witnesses, but his wife remained in the car for about 30 minutes before a team of fire personnel were able to remove her.
 
According to the State Medical Examiner's Office, HELGA GARLING, age 70, died April 28, 2012 at Legacy Emanuel Medical Center where she was being treated.
 
On April 17, 2012 at approximately 5:00 p.m. a 2003 Honda Accord driven by JAMES A. GARLING SR, age 70, from Tillamook, was westbound on Highway 6 near milepost 6. The driver said he may have fallen asleep as the car traveled into a ditch and struck a hillside. The car then traveled across the highway off the south side shoulder and down about a hundred foot embankment before going into the water.
 
The driver got out of the car on his own and was helped to shore by two witnesses. They weren't able to get to the car where his wife, HELGA GARLING, remained inside.
 
The vehicle was reportedly upside down with the rear axle area visible when emergency responders started arriving. Thirty Tillamook Fire District firefighters, including 26 volunteers and four staff, responded to the scene. Four firefighters, including three trained swift water rescue technicians, went into the water with an estimated current of 15 mph. Working in conjunction with fire personnel at the top of the embankment, a cable was attached to the vehicle and it was manuevered to the point that the doors were visible and accessible. The passenger was removed and brought back to the top of the embankment.
 
She was later transported by ambulance to Tillamook County General Hospital and then transferred to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center for further medical treatment.
 
Tillamook County Sheriff's Office and ODOT also assisted at the scene.