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A Molalla woman about 70 years old survived spending 18 hours in the cold with her arm stuck under the hood of her pickup truck until she was rescued Thursday.

Molalla Fire Chief Vince Stafford said the woman had to stay on her feet the entire time in the 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, 18 hours over night, 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."

The woman, whose identity was not disclosed, lived at the end of Elk Prairie Road, in the foothills about 15 miles from 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 spilt up and searched for whoever was in trouble. It took an hour, but they finally found her about 11 a.m.”

Stafford said Molalla paramedics took a pickup rescue vehicle so it could get up her two-mile long driveway. 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,” he said. “She was dressed appropriately for cold weather, though, 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.”

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