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Apr-07-2007 12:08printcomments

Missing Florence Woman Found Alive in Pickup After Plunging off Oregon Coast Highway

The woman's husband worked closely with Police to bring the stgory to a happy conclusion.

Crash investigation
All photos courtesy: Oregon State Police

(NEWPORT, Ore.) - Using cell phone triangulation information, a 38-year old Florence-area woman was found alive Saturday morning about 75 feet off Highway 101 south of Florence in her pickup after she had been missing since leaving work about 7 1/2 hours earlier.

The woman, who was believed to be suffering diabetes-related complications, was transported to Peace Harbor Hospital in Florence with non-life threatening injuries.

Early Saturday at approximately 1:00 AM, Debra Pease reportedly was not feeling well and left her job at Three Rivers Casino east of Florence to drive to her home north of town. After failing to arrive home, her husband, Dennis Pease, drove area roads she may have driven to try and find her and their green 1999 Dodge Ram 1500 pickup. He also continuously called her cell phone trying to reach her.

At approximately 3:00 AM, Dennis Pease contacted Oregon State Police and Lane County Sheriff's Office to report his wife missing. An attempt to locate bulletin was sent out to law enforcement agencies for special attention to the coast and Coast Range.

At approximately 4:00 AM the couple's cell phone carrier, Verizon, was contacted to see if they could assist with helping narrow down the area where she may be based upon any cell phone activity. Verizon told police that there was no cell phone activity during the last eight hours.

Following numerous calls made by her husband during the night, she finally called him back at 7:40 AM, disoriented but advising she was trapped in her pickup off an unknown road. While keeping her on the phone, her husband notified Oregon State Police of this development. Verizon was immediately re-contacted, and using the cell phone call activity they were able to narrow the call to an estimated three-mile area south to southeast of Florence.

Lane County Sheriff's Office, working with OSP, began to organize search and rescue personnel. During this time, OSP Trooper Lowell Lea and Trooper Scott Salisbury were checking Highway 101 and connecting roads south of Florence.

At 8:38 AM, Trooper Lea found signs indicating a vehicle may have driven off the east side of Highway 101 near milepost 191 south of Jessie M. Honeyman Memorial State Park. Upon checking that location, Trooper Lea saw the pickup on its driver's side in heavy brush about 75 feet down an embankment. Trooper Salisbury responded and both troopers worked their way through the brush and found Debra Pease conscious inside the pickup. Initial first aid care was provided until Siuslaw Fire Department and Western Lane Ambulance personnel arrived.

The woman was removed from the pickup through the windshield and brought back to the highway. Western Lane Ambulance transported her to Peace Harbor Hospital where she is being treated for minor injuries.

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Salem April 8, 2007 12:19 pm (Pacific time)

Wow, that is impressive! I do not have a cell phone, and often wonder (just for the above story) if it would be prudent to own one. Good job guys/gals.

S.LaMarche; April 7, 2007 6:49 pm (Pacific time)

great ending!

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