Dog Runs 4 Miles to Seek Help for Injured Owner Who Rolled His Truck

by Vern Evans

Brandon Garrett might still be lying at the bottom of a ravine in Oregon if not for his dog, Blue, who ran nearly four miles to get help on the night of June 2. Garrett was rescued the following morning along with three other dogs that were with him when he drove his truck off the road and into the ravine.

Garrett, who lives in the small town of Halfway near the Idaho state line, was driving to a campsite in eastern Oregon to meet a friend on June 2. While traveling north in his truck on U.S. Forest Service Road 39, the 62-year-old missed a curve and drove off the embankment into a steep ravine, according to a statement from the Baker County Sheriff’s Office.

Somehow Garrett and his four dogs survived the crash, and he was able to crawl up above the creek, where he hunkered down and spent the night. Meanwhile, as Garret lay there stranded, his dog Blue went for help. Remembering where they’d camped earlier, the dog ran nearly four miles through the woods to reach the campsite where Garrett’s friend had been waiting for him. It’s not clear how much time had passed since Garrett and his dogs had previously visited that site.

The friend knew something was wrong when Blue showed up alone, so he notified Garrett’s brother, Tyree Garrett, who called on family and friends to form a search party. They searched for him that night, and the following morning while driving the road, Tyree found his brother’s white truck on its side at the bottom of the ravine. He also saw injured dogs lying nearby.

“It stopped my heart,” Tyree told the New York Times. He said that because of how steep the drop was, he didn’t think his brother could have survived the crash. “I just, God darn, thought for sure my brother was gone.”

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Tyree reported the crash to the local sheriff’s office around 9:30 a.m. The BCSO responded to the scene, along with an ambulance from Halfway and first responders from Baker County Search and Rescue and the Pine Valley Rural Fire District.

“Sheriff Ash arrived and located the vehicle, along with a dog, in the steep, brushy ravine,” the BCSO explained in the statement. “As he was looking for an access point to the creek, he heard a subject yell for help.”

Ash found Garrett alive roughly 100 yards away from his truck. He rendered first aid while first responders and USFS employees cut a path down to the ravine with chainsaws. Rescuers also located Garrett’s three other dogs, which were still alive near the scene of the crash. One of the dogs had broken its hip and injured its femur, while another broke its leg in two places, according to the Times.

Using high-angle rope techniques and a rescue basket, the search-and-rescue team extracted Garrett from the ravine and got him into an ambulance. He was then airlifted to a nearby hospital for treatment, and his brother says a full recovery is expected.

“He’s got a cracked ankle and his body itself is just really bruised and battered,” Tyree told the Times. “So it’s going to take him a while at his age to get back on his feet.”

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