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Rescuers save 75-year-old woman who spent night in Greig woods

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GLENFIELD — A 75-year-old woman from North Carolina was found Tuesday afternoon after she spent about 18 hours in the woods.

Stacia Ward-Johnson, Wadesboro, N.C., who owns a camp off Salsburg Road in the town of Greig, apparently was driving her Jeep away from the camp on a woods trail when she got stuck about 7 p.m. Monday, then fell while trying to walk back to the camp, according to Lewis County Sheriff’s Department officials.

She was reported missing about 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, then was found conscious and alert by authorities about 1 p.m. and was taken by helicopter to St. Elizabeth Medical Center, Utica, for treatment of shoulder and ankle injuries and hypothermia, deputies said.

“All’s well that ends well,” Undersheriff James M. Monnat said. “It turned out to be a success.”

The undersheriff said Deputy Michael K. Leviker and Lt. Joel G. Nowalk, zone supervisor for state forest rangers in Lowville, were alerted to Ms. Ward-Johnson’s position by the barking of two small dogs that she had with her.

Forest rangers carried her back to the camp road, then took her with their Jeep to a waiting ambulance from Lewis County Search and Rescue. She then was taken to the Glenfield fire hall, where a landing zone for the helicopter was set up.

Mr. Monnat said rescuers were fortunate to find the victim as quickly and in as relatively good condition as they did.

“There’s a lot of woods out there,” he said.

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