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Woman, 76, survives 2 weeks in Oregon mountains

She became separated from her husband after their SUV got stuck.

September 07, 2007|From the Associated Press

BAKER CITY, ORE. — A 76- year-old woman was found in the mountains Thursday, nearly two weeks after she disappeared while on a hunting trip with her husband, authorities said.

Ora Doris Anderson had suffered a hip injury and was dehydrated, but she was conscious and alert, the Baker County Sheriff's Office said.

A rescue team flew to the scene to extricate her from the rugged terrain, and she was to be airlifted to a hospital in Boise, Idaho.

Authorities had largely given up hope of finding Anderson, who was lightly dressed in an area where temperatures had tipped into the 30s over the last two weeks.

About 70 volunteers a day had combed the Wallowa Mountain of eastern Oregon until the search was scaled back last week.

Anderson, who goes by Doris, had last been seen Aug. 24 in the Eagle Creek area, where she had gone bow hunting with her husband, Harold, 74.

The Andersons, of Sandy, Ore., had driven into the rugged mountains in a Chevy SUV pulling a trailer. The vehicle got stuck, and Harold Anderson broke his wrist while unloading an all-terrain vehicle from the trailer.

The couple tried to walk to a U.S. Forest Service road for help but became exhausted. Harold Anderson said his wife headed back for the vehicle. A hunting party later found a disoriented Harold Anderson, but there was no sign of his wife.

A Baker County deputy and an Oregon State Police trooper found Doris Anderson around 2 p.m. Thursday in an area that had already been searched.

Iris Anderson, 71, credited her sister-in-law's survival to prayer and her healthy lifestyle.

"How she managed to live for two weeks at the bottom of canyon, I don't know," Iris Anderson said.

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