Man found alive at bottom of ravine in Longview 5 days after going missing

A man survived inside his truck for five days without food or water after he crashed into a ravine.
Published: May. 21, 2023 at 8:51 PM PDT
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A man was rescued after being stranded in his vehicle for days. Rescue crews said he was found in his truck at the bottom of a ravine in Longview.

Rescue crews said they initially feared the worst, but in the end, they were able to get the situation under control and get that man to safety.

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A spokesperson for Cowlitz 2 Fire and Rescue said crews who responded to the scene expected the worst.

“Found out that the vehicle they were looking for was owned by someone who was missing for about five days,” Lt. Bryan Ditterick, spokesperson for Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue, said.

Around 9:30 a.m. on Sunday neighbors near Sunset Way and Lone Oak Road in Longview reported seeing tire tracks and a green truck at the bottom of a ravine.

Units from Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue along with the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) initially responded.

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Firefighters hiked down the hill through waist-deep brush. Rescue crews said the truck was found at the bottom of a heavily-wooded ravine about 150 feet down from the road.

“They did find vehicle down the ravine and they immediately called for mutual-aid response from Longview Fire Department to bring out their rope rescue team,” Ditterick said.

CCSO confirmed the truck matched the description linked to a 56-year-old man who was reported missing more than five days before. They soon learned that the man was still inside the vehicle -- miraculously clinging to life.

“When we investigated further, we found that there was some movement in the car, which is good news,” Ditterick said.

Authorities said he suffered serious injuries and was transported to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center by lifeflight helicopter.

“We’re just happy the outcome was what it was. We found the person alive and viable. We were able to get them out without injuring them more. And all the responders were also safe,” Ditterick said.

Fox 12 is waiting for authorities to confirm the driver’s identity.

The cause into the crash is still under investigation.