Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites


Molalla woman's hand amputated after arm trapped under truck hood 18 hours

Joan Zuber is recovering and in good spirits, her daughter said


A 68-year-old Molalla woman survived standing 18 hours in the cold with her arm stuck under the hood of her pickup truck until she was rescued Thursday.

Joan Zuber was working on her truck around 5 p.m. Wednesday when the hood came crashing down on her arm. Doctors couldn't save Zuber's hand and had to amputate Saturday.

Molalla Fire Chief Vince Stafford said Zuber had to stay on her feet until 11 a.m. Thursday in snow, rain and cold.

“She went outside to put a battery charger on her rig, and a gust of wind came through, slammed the hood down on her arm and the hood latched,” Stafford said. “She was stuck there, we figure, overnight, and it was pretty cold that night. She was out there crying for help, but the nearest neighbors lived a mile away. She said she jogged in place to stay warm and lucid.”

Zuber lives at the end of Elk Prairie Road, in the foothills about 15 miles south of Molalla, Stafford said. Her nearest neighbors live a mile away.

“Thursday morning, four neighbors were out horseback riding in a field, and they could hear this faint cry for help,” he said. “So they split up and searched for whoever was in trouble. It took an hour, but they finally found her about 11 a.m.”

Her daughter, Heather Zuber said Saturday that her mother is in good spirits, talking about recovering and resuming her activities.

Stafford said Molalla paramedics took a pickup rescue vehicle so it could get up her driveway, which was two miles long. Both Molalla rescue vehicles were already out on other calls, so a Canby ambulance carried the woman to the nearest available field on Butte Creek Road, where a Life Flight helicopter landed. She was taken by Life Flight to Legacy Emanuel medical center in Portland.

“She was lucid and in good spirits, even though she had a very serious injury to her arm,” Stafford said. “She was dressed appropriately for cold weather, wearing several layers and a nice heavy coat, so she was fairly warm. It was pretty remarkable for a woman of about 70 to survive that so well. Her neighbors said she still goes rock climbing, so she was pretty tough. You’d have to be to survive that.”



Local Weather

Fair

57°F

Molalla

Fair

Humidity: 81%

Wind: 0 mph

  • 1 Oct 2014

    Mostly Sunny 65°F 45°F

  • 2 Oct 2014

    Mostly Sunny 73°F 50°F