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#130693 - 04/21/08 12:36 PM Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man
LazyJoe Offline

Registered: 12/15/06
Posts: 27
Loc: Oregon


Autopsy: Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man

MYRTLE CREEK, Ore. (AP) -- Hypothermia and exposure killed a Myrtle Creek man found dead last week after hiking for help when a car got stuck in the snow, an autopsy revealed.

Kenneth Walton, 52, who had muscular dystrophy and used a cane, was found one to two miles from where the car got stranded on Johnnie Springs Road, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office said.

Walton and Debra Jean Smith, who had recently started dating, were headed to Myrtle Creek from Canyonville, where the two had breakfast April 13.

In an interview with the News-Review newspaper of Roseburg, Smith said they spent several hours trying to get the car unstuck before Walton opted to find help.

Smith, 46, said she didn't want Walton to go alone, but she had twisted her ankle and couldn't walk too far.

"He probably wouldn't have let me (go) anyway," she said. "He was that kind of person."

As darkness fell that first night, she began to worry. She nibbled on the breakfast the pair had brought from the restaurant, taking only two bites at a time to stretch the leftover omelet, hash browns, sausage patty and toast.

After two nights lodged in a snow drift, Smith said she knew in her heart that Walton's attempt to hike out of the area had ended tragically.

She got the car to move Tuesday and beeped the horn all the way down the mountain, hoping Walton might hear it.

"I was terrified I was going to find him in the road," Smith said from her home in Springfield.

A few miles later, Smith came to a house and stopped for help. She reported Walton missing to authorities, while the homeowner began a search.

Smith has heard the tragic stories of those who get stuck in the wilderness with no supplies. She said she'll never again head into the woods without extra water, blankets, a flashlight and other supplies, and she hopes others learn from her experience.

"I don't know how much I can ever stress that to people now."


Information from: The News-Review, http://www.oregonnews.com

#130694 - 04/21/08 12:43 PM Re: Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man [Re: LazyJoe]
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5175
Add a change of clothes and extra wool socks for the hiking boots always kept in the trunk. One facet of survival is learning from the mistakes and tragedies of others.

#130698 - 04/21/08 01:46 PM Re: Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man [Re: Russ]
Shadow_oo00 Offline

Registered: 08/21/07
Posts: 301
Loc: Pennsylvania, USA
Why does it take a tragedy to wake people up to the fact? So frustrating sometimes. I mean how hard is it both cost,time and space wise to throw some stuff in your car.
Shadow out !!!

Prepare Or Not To Prepare That Is The Question. The Answer, You Better !!!

#130699 - 04/21/08 02:02 PM Re: Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man [Re: Shadow_oo00]
Mike_in_NKY Offline

Registered: 05/22/07
Posts: 121
Loc: KY

I think it's the "it can't happen to me" mentality. I have done it myself and have been lucky to not have needed the backup. Now that I know to have it, I've just been lucky I guess.

#130709 - 04/21/08 03:59 PM Re: Hypothermia killed stranded Ore. man [Re: Mike_in_NKY]
benjammin Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/06/04
Posts: 4020
Loc: Anchorage AK
"A man's gotta know his limitations." Dirty Harry
The ultimate result of shielding men from the effects of folly is to fill the world with fools.
-- Herbert Spencer, English Philosopher (1820-1903)


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