BANKS, Ore. — Firefighters successfully rescued two people on Saturday morning after their truck rolled down a steep embankment in a remote area northwest of Banks.
According to Banks Fire District 13, dispatch received a 911 call just before 5 a.m. from a caller who said they'd gone off the road and down a hill. However, first responders did not have more than an approximate location.
Banks firefighters worked with staff from the Washington County Sheriff's Office and Metro West Ambulance to scour the area southwest of Timber, using sirens in short blasts and listening for the caller's horn honking in reply.
The steep, heavily wooded terrain hampered search efforts, as did spotty phone service. Banks Fire said that they were able to ping the caller's phone, to an extent.
"Neither of the phones were able to hit more than one tower which is necessary to give a good triangulation," said Scott Adams, public information officer for Banks Fire. "The best location we had from the phones was what tower they were hitting, and in the coast range that can be very misleading."
About two hours after the initial call, rescuers came across a hiker who was able to tell them the location of the crash.
Search crews finally found the truck and contacted the two people within. One had managed to get out of the vehicle, but another was trapped inside. That necessitated a high-angle rope rescue, fire officials said.
Rescuers successfully got both people free and up to the road. One was taken to the hospital by Life Flight in serious condition.