PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — An 83-year-old driver survived a night sleeping on the trunk of his car after he slid off the road and into Goble Creek in Cowlitz County Friday night.
Around 6:30 a.m. Saturday — about 10 hours after the crash — the man finally was able to find his cell phone and called 911 to report the crash, the Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue officials said. It took about a half-hour for firefighters to find the exact spot where the man went down a 25-foot embankment and into the water.
Cowlitz County deputies also arrived and figured out the perimeter where he might be. Once he was spotted, firefighters used multiple ladders to get to the man and rescue him.
Authorities said the man, who has not been publicly identified, was taken by ambulance to Peace Health St. John’s Medical Center. He’s being treated for chest injuries, an ankle injury and exposure to the cold.
He told authorities he was driving home around 8:30 p.m. Friday when another driver’s headlights blinded him as he turned a corner. That caused him to swerve, drive off the edge, go down the embankment and into the water.
His car came to rest in the creek bed with water running through it. Initially he couldn’t find his cell phone and couldn’t get out of the car. Eventually he made it to his car’s trunk and stayed there until he was able to call for help.
No one else was injured, officials said.