Tuesday, April 9 2013, 10:49 AM CDT
Family calls rescue a miracle
By Whitney Clark/KTVL.com
ASHLAND, Ore. -- It's a moment the Koon family surely won't forget.
After spending a stormy night lost on Mt. Ashland, Carol Koon was reunited with her family.
"It a pretty magical moment," said her son-in-law, Don Libby.
Koon was reported missing by her family around 4:45 p.m. on Sunday afternoon.
The next day it was a happy ending to a search that lasted all night, Koon seen hugging her family and thanking those who saved her - even turning down a blanket.
The Jackson County Sheriff's Office says Koon took off on a run by herself on Sunday, but when the clouds and wind came in she got lost.
Koon's family, including a few of her six children spent a sleepless night at the Mt. Ashland lodge. Libby said they did a lot of praying, but with blizzard-like conditions outside there wasn't much they could do.
"It's a helplessness that I wouldn't wish upon anybody," Libby said.
Around a phone 11 a.m. on Monday, Koon was able to call her husband. Deputies say she was alive and in good condition.
Sgt. Shawn Richards said Koon spent the night in a horse corral near a road where a helicopter was able to spot her.
"She heard the searchers looking for her throughout the night, and she was thankful that she was finally seen by the helicopter," Richards said.
When Koon was brought back to her family on a SNO-CAT, she looked healthy and even rested. Her high spirits were no surprise to her family.
"She's a strong woman," Libby said. "She's a woman who kind of lives off the grid in the middle of nowhere pretty much. She hikes in and out of the woods daily, like 6 miles. That's her exercise."
As search and rescuers packed up their gear, Koon's family thanked them for their hard work, only able to describe the reunion in one way.
"A miracle in itself," Koon said. "A blessing from above."