Man trapped in crushed vehicle ‘invisible’ from road found by Kittitas County deputy

KITTITAS COUNTY, Wash. — A man who was badly injured and trapped in his car, which had crashed in a spot that deputies said was invisible from the road, was rescued with the help of a tenacious Kittitas County deputy.

Shortly after midnight on Sunday, Ellensburg police received a call from a woman who said her boyfriend started driving up from Yakima several hours earlier but had not arrived and was not answering his phone.

She said she had called hospitals in the area, as well as Washington State Patrol, but had not found him.

After giving Ellensburg police his cellphone information, an emergency ping showed that his phone was close to Woodhouse Loop, south of Ellensburg.

Kittitas County deputies and Ellensburg officers headed for the area. After 40 minutes of searching dark roads, Deputy Chuck Berg noticed skid marks at the intersection of Thrall and Canyon roads. The location was nearly a mile from the area shown by the cellphone ping.

Berg followed the tracks off the road. After getting through 50 yards of brush, he discovered the man in his crushed car. He was pinned inside, had numerous injuries and was suffering from cold exposure, according to the sheriff’s office.

Medics were summoned and the man was extricated from his vehicle and then flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle via helicopter.

“This certainly wasn’t the first life Deputy Berg has saved, and it probably won’t be the last. Thank you, Chuck; thank you, medics; and thanks to our Ellensburg PD partners for their diligence in community-caretaking calls like this one,” the Kittitas County Sheriff’s Office said on its Facebook page.