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UPDATED: Crews rescue woman whose car tumbled off Old Highway 99 (11:30 a.m.)

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This cell phone photo shows the sedan down a ravine of Old Highway 99 near the Siskiyou Summit. Ryan Pfeil / Mail Tribune
 Posted: 10:35 AM March 18, 2014

11:30 a.m. An Oregon Department of Transportation employee likely saved the life of a 71-year-old Talent woman who apparently spent the night in her crashed car in a ravine off Old Highway 99, Oregon State Police said.

Doyle Summers was doing routine maintenance along the old highway near the Siskiyou Summit when a glint of sunlight off something down a steep, brushy slope caught his eye this morning. A closer look showed the light had reflected off a car’s bumper and he went down to check on it.

Summers found Lois Evelyn Hamilton unresponsive inside her car. He could see she was breathing, so he called 911, summoning help to the mountainside.

Rescuers pulled Hamilton to safety and she was taken to a local hospital.

10:35 a.m. Rescue crews are pulling to safety a 71-year-old woman whose car plunged down a steep hillside off Old Highway 99.

An Oregon Department of Transportation worker spotted a sedan roughly 100 yards down in a ravine this morning, Oregon State Police reported. The worker said the engine was cold, so the car apparently had been there for some time, police said.

Crews from Jackson County Fire District No. 5, Ashland Fire and Rescue, Mercy Flights, ODOT and OSP have closed the highway and set up ropes and pulleys for the rescue, navigating a steep slope covered in thistly weeds and dotted with trees and brush. Emergency crews extricated the woman from the car and put her on a backboard for the trip back up to the roadway.

State police have not released any details about what happened or the woman's condition.

— Staff reports

We will post more details as they become available.

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