Woman drives off Gorge cliff, cited for DUII

Credit: Wayne Havrelly

Woman drives off Gorge cliff, cited for DUII

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by KGW staff

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kgw.com

Posted on February 11, 2013 at 7:05 AM

Updated Monday, Feb 11 at 7:05 AM

CORBETT, Ore. -- Rescuers pulled a trapped woman from her vehicle after she crashed more than 100 feet down an embankment on the Columbia River Gorge into a heavily wooded area Saturday.

The crash happened just before noon on the East Historic Columbia River Highway near Crown Point State Park when Kim McCauley drove her Toyota 4Runner over the edge of the Portland Women's Forum Viewpoint, deputies said.

Crews rappelled down the cliff and used ropes and a stretcher to hoist McCauley from her vehicle back up to the road. She was taken to the hospital and reportedly did not have any serious injuries.

McCauley was cited for DUII and reckless driving, said Lt. Steve Alexander with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office.

"She was about 100 feet over the bank. Her car came to rest against a fir tree upside down," said rescuer Travis Mershon. "My guess is if she didn't hit that tree, she would have went another 100 or more feet, so she got real lucky in that sense."

McCauley was conscious but in severe pain and was taken to Legacy Emanuel Medical Center by Life Flight helicopter.

Sheriff's deputies first learned McCauley was conscious from a person who climbed down the cliff and contacted her.

Witnesses told KGW the car plunged from a parking space at the scenic viewpoint.

"We suspect the person put the car in drive instead of reverse and went over," said Pam Butz who was nearby at the time of the accident.

Multnomah County Sheriff's Deputies were at the scene investigating.

KGW reporter Wayne Havrelly contributed to this report.

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