Injured climber's cell phone battery was at 1 percent when she c - KPTV - FOX 12

Injured climber's cell phone battery was at 1 percent when she called 911

Posted: Updated: Oct 12, 2015 08:10 PM
Photo: Linn Co. Sheriff's Office Photo: Linn Co. Sheriff's Office
Photo: Linn Co. Sheriff's Office Photo: Linn Co. Sheriff's Office
LINN COUNTY, OR (KPTV) -

A climber who was hit in the head by a falling rock managed to call 911 right before her cell phone battery died, helping lead to her rescue.

Emergency dispatchers received a call at 11:23 p.m. Sunday from Sarah Ford, 20, of Bend, reporting she was hit by a falling rock while rappelling down from the 7,700-foot elevation of Mount Washington, which is on the line of Linn and Deschutes counties.

The 911 center was able to capture her cell phone location within a half mile, however, further attempts to contact her were unsuccessful.

Deputies said her cell phone battery was at just 1 percent when she called 911.

Deputies, 14 Linn County Sheriff's Office search and rescue members, six people from the Corvallis Mountain Rescue team and three Linn County posse members responded to the area and searched throughout the night, locating Ford at 6:49 a.m. Monday.

Temperatures dropped below freezing overnight. 

Investigators said Ford had entered the Mount Washington wilderness area from the Pacific Crest Trailhead on the Old Santiam Wagon Road at 1 p.m. Sunday. She was hit by the rock while rappelling at 7:30 p.m.

After she was hit, she fell 15 feet and seriously injured her left knee.

Deputies said she still managed to hike about three-quarters of a mile down to the 6,200-foot level, before she was unable to continue any longer and called 911.

Due to the extent of her injuries and the very remote and rugged terrain, assistance was requested from the Oregon Army National Guard unit based in Salem.

At 11:57 a.m. Monday, the Oregon Army National Guard arrived at Mount Washington and safely hoisted Ford into the helicopter. She was transported to a hospital for treatment.  

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