Crook County: Driver in Ochocos self-rescues after eight hour SAR search


A Crook County Search and Rescue (SAR) team spent eight hours in the rainy, muddy, foggy, dark of night looking for an overdue person in the Ochoco Mountains. It turns out that person was able to get themselves to safety, the sheriff’s office said Thursday.

It started Monday at about 8:00 p.m. The Crook County Sheriff’s Office said 911 was called about an overdue driver. A possible area given was Big Summit Prairie to the area around Walton Lake. CCSO said the person had left at 6:00 a.m. and was supposed to be back by noon. But cell phone calls to the person weren’t answered. Family and friends searched, but with no luck.

Nine Crook County SAR members responded with five vehicles including a tracked Ranger.

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A cell phone ping was used to try to track the driver down, but the sheriff’s office said it didn’t provide good location information.

“The conditions were rainy, very muddy and at times very foggy,” CCSO said as the searchers began looking through the large area. SAR was concerned the driver might be having a medical emergency.

At 5:00 a.m., the SAR team was pulled back to rest after searching for hours. A second group was called into relieve them.

As the second group was organizing, CCSO said it was learned a second driver was overdue in the same area. As SAR was figuring out a game plan for that search, both of the missing people walked out to cell coverage and self-rescued, CCSO said.


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