Photo: Yamhill County Sheriff's Office
After three days of searching, Yamhill County Special Deputy Dean Danchuck, a helicopter pilot, located a missing elderly man in the forest approximately 7 miles north of Grand Ronde in remote Yamhill County Oregon.
Tuesday, around 3:45 p.m., Danchuck and his spotter, Rich Ashenbrenner helped save Sang Kwon Sa, a 73-year-old man from Washington State who had gone missing Sunday evening around 5:30 p.m. while collecting plants with family members off Wind River Road in Yamhill County. Search and Rescue teams from multiple agencies had been looking for him since his disappearance. A private helicopter, unmanned aerial drones, ground searchers, ATV units, search dogs around 100 volunteers from multiple surrounding counties were utilized in the search.
This was Danchuck’s second helicopter deployment on this specific search. On Monday, he flew for five hours but the effort was unsuccessful. Danchuck expanded his search on Tuesday and eventually found Mr. Sa lying down in a field approximately 2 miles away from the point of his last known location. Danchuck and Ashenbrenner loaded Mr. Sa into the private helicopter and flew him directly to the Willamette Valley Medical Center in McMinnville, where he is receiving medical care.
Yamhill County Sheriff Tim Svenson wishes to thank the following agencies for their assistance during this search: Polk County Sheriff’s Office and Polk County SAR, Washington County Sheriff’s Office SAR, Marion County Sheriff’s Office SAR, Tillamook County Sheriff’s Office SAR, Mary’s Peak SAR, K9 teams and support personnel from Region 3, Benton County K9 Search and Rescue, Oregon Man Trackers Association, Grand Ronde Tribal Police Department, Grand Ronde Tribal Fire Department, Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde General Manager Dave Fullerton and the Confederate Tribes of Grand Ronde Natural Resources Department.
“This search was truly an all-hands-on deck effort.” said Sheriff Tim Svenson. “The cooperation of the workers and volunteers resulted in a life being saved. You can’t ask for anything better.”