Dog travels 4 miles to get help after owner’s car plummets into embankment in eastern Oregon

A man and his four dogs accidentally drove off an embankment, stranding him in the woods overnight in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest.

PORTLAND, Ore. — A man who accidentally drove off an embankment in eastern Oregon, stranding him in the woods overnight, was rescued the following day after one of his dogs traveled four miles to get help.

Brandon Garrett was traveling with his four dogs to meet his family at a campsite in the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest on June 2 when he crashed on a turn. One of the dogs, named Blue, was able to reach the campsite and alert Garrett’s family, and the next day his brother reported that they had located his vehicle but were unable to reach it due to the “steep, bushy ravine,” according to the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

During the rescue, Baker County Sheriff Travis Ash was looking for an access point to the creek, when he heard someone yell for help. About 100 feet away from the vehicle, Garrett was found alive, along with his three other dogs.

The sheriff provided first aid and Pine Valley Rural Fire volunteers and U.S. Forest Service employees used chainsaws to clear a path for Search and Rescue. Once a team was able to reach Garrett, they secured him in a rescue basket connected to a highline rope system and pulled him across the ravine. 

Sheriff Ash said he hadn’t met the dog named Blue, but the canine’s actions were remarkable.

“I have never seen Blue, I saw a picture of him today. I imagine Blue was back at camp while we were doing the work to help Brandon out, but yeah, it’s pretty amazing that he would go that far,” said Ash.

Garrett was transported by ambulance to a Life Flight helicopter and airlifted to a regional hospital.  Garrett was treated for multiple non-life-threatening injuries and released.  Reached by phone, Garrett told KGW he’s had Blue for about five years, and he’s very grateful to him and all involved in his rescue for their lifesaving help.

The Sheriff’s office said Baker County Search and Rescue, Pine Valley Rural Fire District, Halfway Ambulance, Life Flight and the U.S. Forest Service fall assisted during this rescue.

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