Two people were injured early Saturday morning after the vehicle they were in slid off a remote icy highway east of Wasco in Sherman County and came to rest out of sight about 150 feet down a steep embankment. The crash scene was discovered in the darkness when one of the vehicle’s occupants climbed up to the highway and flagged down a passing vehicle. Numerous fire & rescue volunteers and police officers worked together to rescue those injured before they were taken to a local hospital.
Preliminary information indicates on January 26, 2013 at approximately 4:45 a.m., three Condon-area residents were traveling eastbound on Highway 206 about twelve miles east of Wasco when a woman jumped in front of their vehicle waving for help. The woman said her car was down the embankment where two others were injured, including and adult male and another adult female who was partially pinned underneath the wreckage. A fourth person, an adult male, was not injured.
One of the persons in the passing vehicle made her way up to a hill top and called 9-1-1 on her cell phone to report the crash. Emergency responders, including many who are volunteers, from South Sherman Fire Rescue, North Sherman Fire Rescue, Sherman County Rescue, Moro Rural Fire Rescue, Rufus Fire Rescue, Condon Ambulance, Sherman County Ambulance, Sherman County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) and Oregon State Police (OSP) all responded to the scene and arrived during the next hour.
All of the responding agencies worked together to assist with removing and rescuing the two injured people utilizing a rappelling system that provided access to and from the vehicle. Airbags were taken down to the crash scene and used to lift the 2000 Oldsmobile four-door off the injured woman’s head. Using a pulley system, officers from OSP and SCSO worked with firefighters to hoist the injured woman and rescue personnel back up to the highway.
Ambulances transported the four people, two of whom were injured, to Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles. One of the ambulances was met near Wasco by a Mid-Columbia Fire & Rescue ambulance to complete the transport to the hospital.
OSP Senior Trooper Mike Holloran expressed his thanks to the three Condon residents who reported the crash and the quick work of rescue personnel from multiple volunteer agencies who worked in difficult terrain and conditions.
“They may very well have saved the injured lady’s life,” said Holloran.