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  • 1 Oct 2014

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Driver rescued from Columbia Gorge plunge

The driver of a vehicle that plunged into the Columbia Gorge has been identified as Kim McCauley, 57 of Gresham. After being rescued, she was cited for DUII and reckless driving.

McCauley driver became trapped in a 4Runner that plummeted 100 feet down a cliff Saturday.

"This is at the Women's Forum Park, on the East Historic Columbia Highway," the Bureau of Emergency Communications reported around noon. "Life Flight has been on stand by."

Responding were Corbett volunteers along with members of the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office. The sheriff's office has a rescue division.

A dispatcher said a caller mentioned the vehicle was about 100 feet down the hill.

Rescuers first stabilized the vehicle with rope before going in to rescue the driver. Initial reports were that there was the potential for a 100- to 150-foot fall if the vehicle were to lose its wedge among the trees.

As of 1:05 p.m., Kim was still in her vehicle. At that point her injuries were not considered to be life-threatening. However, a Life Flight helicopter had landed near the scene and was standing by.

At 2:12 p.m. the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office sent out the following information: "At approximately 11:55 a.m. today (02/09/13) MCSO deputies responded to the report of a single-vehicle accident at Women's Forum State Park. A Toyota 4Runner in the lower parking lot at Women's Forum State Park had gone over an embankment off the parking lot and down about 100 feet.

"Deputies received information as they arrived from a person that climbed down and checked on the vehicle [and] found a single occupant in the car. [S]he was conscious, complaining of pain and possibly had a head wound.

"...[A] rope rescue team from Corbett Fire Department ... was able to extract the driver from the vehicle and bring her up to the parking lot. The driver was conscious and talking with emergency personnel as she was brought up to the parking lot. AMR assisted in evaluation of the driver and she was transported to the hospital via LifeFlight for treatment.

"At this time MCSO Deputies are continuing their investigation into the accident."