Last week, in Oregon, a 92-year-old man named Larry Hendrickson was saved after enduring a night outdoors in sub-freezing temperatures.
The event unfolded as Hendrickson and his wife, Shirley, were returning from Yuma, Arizona, to their residence in Newport, Washington. Despite being on the journey together, Shirley, driving a U-Haul truck, recounted to CNN that Hendrickson was trailing in their car.
Video: 92-year-old driver survives overnight sub-freezing temperatures in Baker County
Recalling the journey to the outlet, Shirley mentioned that they stopped “somewhere around Baker City in northeastern Oregon” upon discovering a problem with one of the truck’s tires.
To seek assistance, she utilized both of their cell phones while Hendrickson ventured down the highway in search of a tire shop, as she informed CNN.
Despite Hendrickson being absent at the time, Shirley made the decision to resume their journey around 8 p.m. after the tire had been repaired, given the darkness of the night.
OSP troopers recently rescued an elderly driver who had earlier been reported as overdue. The 92-year-old motorist is recovering well after spending a night exposed to below-freezing temperatures. Read more: https://t.co/1MMwDl9UjG pic.twitter.com/VlLlL9UOIT— Oregon State Police (@ORStatePolice) November 14, 2023
With both their phones in her possession, Shirley took the precaution of having friends leave notes for Hendrickson at their home in case he arrived before her. When Hendrickson didn’t return home, Shirley reached out to the Oregon State Police.
The OSP detailed in a media release that they received a report of an “overdue motorist” who was last known to be heading westbound on Interstate 84 near milepost 283 in Baker County around 3 p.m. on Nov. 7.
Following an extensive search for Hendrickson, their vehicle was discovered deserted on West Airport Lane. Hendrickson himself was located down an embankment.
Upon discovery, Hendrickson was reported by the OSP to be “conscious and breathing,” as an OSP trooper and an officer from the Baker City Police Department located him. Immediate first aid was administered by authorities, and emergency medical responders from Metro West Ambulance transported him to a local hospital. According to Shirley, her husband was later transferred to a hospital in Idaho and was released after two days.
“He’s suffering from the effects of the hypothermia. He can’t walk very well; everything hurts,” she shared. Shirley emphasized that it’s a remarkable feat that he survived, especially given his age of 92.
The OSP used this incident as a reminder for travelers to inform others about their plans in case of unforeseen travel-related complications.
In a statement, Oregon State Police Captain Kyle Kennedy expressed gratitude for the positive outcome, noting, “Cold weather exposure can be life-threatening and another night in these conditions may have been fatal.”