Rescue drama after Sherman Co. crash injures 2

Woman climbs up, flags down help; injured woman flown to Bend hospital

WASCO, Ore. - Two people were injured early Saturday morning when their car slid off a remote, icy highway east of Wasco in Sherman County and plunged about 150 feet down a steep embankment, Oregon State Police reported. Names and more details were released later Saturday.

The crash scene was discovered in the darkness when one of the car's occupants climbed up to the highway and flagged down a passing vehicle.

Numerous fire and rescue volunteers and police officers worked together to rescue those injured before they were taken to a local hospital.

Updated information indicated that around 4:45 a.m., three Condon residents were traveling eastbound on Highway 206 about 12 miles east of Wasco when a woman jumped in front of their vehicle, waving for help.

The woman, identified as Jeanne Moles, 26, of John Day, said her car was down the embankment where two others were injured, including a man and another woman who was partially pinned underneath the wreckage. Another man, Matthew Sagaser, 28, also of John Day, was not injured.

One of the people in the passing car climbed to a nearby hilltop and called 911 on her cell phone to report the crash.

Emergency responders, including many volunteers, responded to the scene within the next hour, including crews from South Sherman Fire Rescue, North Sherman Fire Rescue, Sherman County Rescue, Moro Rural Fire Rescue, Rufus Fire Rescue, Condon Ambulance, Sherman County Ambulance, the Sherman County Sheriff's Office and OSP.

All worked together to assist with removing and rescuing the two injured people, using a rappelling system that provided access to and from the car.

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.

Right-rear passenger Jay Williams, 22, of Long Creek, was thrown from the car near the top of the embankment. He was treated for non-life-threatening injuries and released, troopers said.

Left-rear passenger Desiree Rutherford, 21, of Portland, was thrown and pinned under the car before being rescued.

After being taken to Mid-Columbia Medical Center, she was flown by air ambulance to St. Charles-Bend with serious injuries.

None of the four occupants were using seat belts, troopers said.

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.

 OSP is continuing the investigation.

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