OnStar Helps Locate Woman After Rogers County Crash

Wednesday, September 2nd 2015, 8:28 am
By: News On 6

First responders are crediting OnStar with saving a Verdigris woman's life.

Troopers and firefighters got help from the service to rescue a woman who crashed her pickup north of the Port of Catoosa Wednesday morning and was trapped inside.

Authorities said the woman swerved to miss a deer in the road on Highway 266. That's when she lost control, slid down an embankment, nose-diving 20 feet into a creek bed before her truck landed in the water, on its side.

The Oklahoma Highway Patrol said OnStar notified them about the crash on Highway 266 near where it intersects with 4090 Road.

The Driver, 45-year-old Crystal Deal, swerved to miss a deer a little after 6:00 Wednesday morning when the car took the treacherous tumble down and embankment and trapped her inside.

Her saving grace was her truck's OnStar service, according to Verdigris Fire Chief, Mike Shaffer.

"They started using pinging technology to try to triangulate her location from the cell signal and it led us into this area right here where we're at," he said.

OnStar dispatchers could hear Deal moaning and yelling after the accident and instantly called 911.

Troopers, the Verdigris Fire Department and Rogers County deputies searched and, initially, could not locate the crash scene. With the help of OnStar operators, the OHP said they eventually found the truck in a ravine hidden by woods. It had rolled over and was not visible from the highway.

"Through OnStar, they were actually able to honk the horn; they were able to initiate the hazard lights as well. Unfortunately, due to the location of the vehicle, it was located about 50 foot below the grade of the highway itself," Shaffer said. “So, at that time we were actually able to get closer to where the…vehicle was at and the patient."

It took close to 45 minutes before Deal was found and taken to the hospital. She was alert and talking when they loaded her into an ambulance. She has since been released.

The Verdigris fire chief said, without OnStar, the search would have been much longer.

"The added assistance and the relaying information through OnStar and the 911 consolidated dispatch center in Rogers County was phenomenal," Shaffer said.