Injured driver spends night in woods next to crashed car

OAKRIDGE, Ore. - An Oakridge man lay seriously injured next to his car overnight before a passerby found him on a remote Forest Service road near Hills Creek Reservoir, more than 20 hours after the crash.

Then he had to wait while the Good Samaritan drove back to Oakridge for help - and help drove back out from Oakridge to Forest Service Road 23.

The driver - identified as Russel B. Hayes, 59 - was taken by ambulance to a landing spot, then flown by air ambulance to Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend. His injuries were described as serious but not life-threatening.

Oregon State Police Fish & Wildlife Senior Trooper Marshall Maher was on boat patrol at Hills Creek Reservoir and saw the emergency responders.

He returned to shore and drove to the scene in the OSP pickup to investigate.
Preliminary investigation indicates Hayes lost control in a curve and hit several trees around 4 p.m. Sunday.

He managed to get out of his wrecked car but lay on the ground until 1:20 p.m. Monday, when a passing motorist found him.