Islander Allen DeSteiguer was airlifted to Yakima Regional Medical Center Sunday afternoon after a jeep he was driving on a dirt road outside of Yakima rolled backwards on a steep hill and flipped.
According to the Yakima Sheriff Office’s report, DeSteiguer, 66, was unconscious when emergency personnel responded and extracted him from his crushed vehicle. But DeSteiguer, reached Thursday, said he actually was able to walk away from his 1974 Land Rover.
An Army medic and EMT happened to be jeeping with another group, saw the accident and rushed to help, he said.
“I was really lucky to walk away from it and lucky that people were on site who could monitor my vital signs,” he said.
DeSteiguer, who was jeeping with four other friends, was on day two of a four-day trip from the Little Naches River to Cle Elum, a 200 to 300-mile trip on Forest Service roads and highways. He was headed up a steep grade and had almost crested it when the gears in the rear differential apparently broke, causing the jeep to roll backwards.
His Land Rover, which he’s owned for 34 years, is totalled. “It’s sort of like an old friend,” he said of the jeep.
DeSteiguer, a consulting engineer who has lived on Vashon for many years, has some broken ribs and fractured bones but is home and doing much better. He was hospitalized one night.
“I’m healing,” he said.
Editor’s note: This story has been changed from the original one, which was posted Wednesday.