Wash. firefighters rescue man, 83, after car falls down 25-foot embankment into creek bed

Nine Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue firefighters and a medic unit responded after the injured driver slept overnight in the cold trunk as water got into the vehicle

Matthew Esnayra
The Daily News

KELSO, Wash. — Firefighters say they rescued an 83-year-old man who accidentally drove his car down a 25-foot embankment in Kelso and had to sleep in the trunk of his car during a winter's night.

The crash occurred Friday night near the 400 block of North Globe Creek Road, according to Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue found the crashed car and rescued the driver Saturday morning.
Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue found the crashed car and rescued the driver Saturday morning. (Photo/Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue)

The motorist told his rescuers that he was driving at roughly 8:30 p.m. when another vehicle's headlights blinded him, causing him to veer off the edge of the road.

Unable to escape or to find his cell phone to call for help, the elderly man moved into the trunk of his car, where he slept for the night.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue said the damaged vehicle was part-way in a creek bed, causing water to enter the car.

Firefighters found the driver at 6:30 a.m. Saturday morning after he was able to locate his cell phone — by hearing the faint sounds of beeping indicating the battery was running low — and call 911. Cowlitz County Sheriff deputies helped to pinpoint the man's location and crews arrived within 30 minutes.

Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue responded to the scene and used multiple ladders to reach the driver and rescue him. Two engines, a medic unit and nine firefighters were utilized during the rescue efforts.

The driver was transported to St. John's Medical Center by ambulance. He suffered chest injuries, an ankle injury and exposure to cold weather, according to the department.


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McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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