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Worker's sharp eye leads to rescue

By Cornelia de Bruin

Triplicate staff writer

The observant eye of a Caltrans worker led to the rescue of a Klamath woman whose car plummeted down an embankment off U.S. Hwy. 101 Thursday night.

Michiko Kramer, 78, was driving northbound on Hwy. 101 south of Crescent City when her vehicle drifted to the side of the road and hit the embankment.

Kramer was not injured in the accident.

According to an accident report the California Highway Patrol compiled from emergency responders, the collision caused the Kramer's car to veer to the left where it went off the west edge of the roadway and plunged about 150 feet down a steep embankment.

Caltrans employee Michael Lucas was returning from his lunch break when he spotted debris on the roadway and stopped to look further.

Although Lucas did not see anything, he alerted first responders who spotted a dome light shining through the rain and fog.

Two hours later, Del Norte County Search and Rescue, Crescent City Fire Protection District and Del Norte Ambulance personnel had assisted Kramer back up the hill and were assessing her condition.

"The Caltrans worker did the right thing," said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Hablitzel. "She (Kramer) said she was fine and didn't want to go to the hospital."


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