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Firefighters in Oregon rescued two people Saturday after a rollover crash in a remote area left them trapped inside their vehicle for hours, authorities said.
First responders got a call about a vehicle crash just before 5 a.m. in the rural area southwest of Timber, a community located about 40 miles northwest of Portland, Banks Fire District 13 said.
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The caller said the vehicle had gone off the road and over an embankment but could not provide the exact location.
Fire officials said that minimal phone service in the remote area prevented first responders from immediately learning the exact location of the vehicle.
“Neither of the phones were able to hit more than one tower, which is necessary to give a good triangulation,” the fire district said. “The best location we had from the phones was what tower they were hitting, and in the coast range that can be very misleading.”
Rescuers tried to narrow down the search area using a variety of methods, including alternating sirens and listening for the caller honking a vehicle’s horn, the fire district said.
About two hours after receiving the call, fire officials said rescuers met a hiker in the area who directed them to the crash site. First responders then spotted the vehicle, which had flipped over an embankment and onto its roof.
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One of the occupants had escaped the truck while the other remained trapped inside. Firefighters conducted a high-angle rope rescue to bring both victims to safety.
One victim was airlifted to a hospital in serious condition.
Fire officials warned that travelers should always know their location for themselves because you can’t always count on cellphones to provide accurate location information.