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April 16, 2014

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Originally published: 2012-06-25 14:53:16
Last modified: 2012-06-25 14:56:18

Blowing Rock rescue personnel use climbing gear to retrieve stranded motorist

Jeff Eason

According to two separate witnesses, the driver of a white Chevy Impala lost control of his vehicle while driving downhill on a rain-slicked U.S. Hwy. 321 three miles south of the Wagauga-Caldwell county line. The car ran off of the right side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to a stop about 20 feet below.

The incident happened about 2 p.m. on Saturday, June 23.  

At least one witness called 911 to report the accident while another male witness climbed down the embankment to check on the driver of the vehicle. He found the driver, the sole occupant of the vehicle, slightly injured and shaken up after the ordeal. Blowing Rock Police and Blowing Rock Fire and Rescue were the first to respond on the scene, located just past a clearing, about a quarter mile south of Blackberry Road. 

BRF&R assistant chief Kent Graham directed his team to use ropes and climbing gear to help the stranded driver get up the embankment. With assistance, the driver was able to get out of his car and climb partially up the embankment. When it got too steep for him, BRF&R personnel lowered a basket, strapped him into it, and pulled him the rest of the way up the embankment. 

State troopers and other emergency personnel all stated that it was fortunate that there were witnesses to the accident. The heavy growth of kudzu could have prevented anyone from seeing the car from the highway and he could have been trapped there for days.  

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For more information and stories, see The Blowing Rocket.


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