Missing woman found down an embankment on Blewett Pass


A 68-year-old Spokane Valley woman who had been missing since last Thursday was found Monday evening in her vehicle down an embankment just north of the summit of Blewett Pass.

Lynell McFarland was transported to Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee where her condition was not immediately available.

Washington State Patrol Trooper John Bryant said at about 7:30 p.m. a Washington State Department of Transportation plow truck driver spotted the 2000 Mitsubishi Eclipse about 40 feet down then embankment.

A high-angle rope team was lowered down and was able to extract her from the vehicle.

Bryant said she was still conscious.

Her family had reported her missing Nov. 18 and a Silver Alert was issued.

Kittitas County Sheriff’s deputies launched a search the next day after her cell phone’s last ping showed her north of Ellensburg on Highway 97.

Bryant said it appears McFarland hit a patch of ice while driving north on the pass, crossed the southbound lane and went down the embankment but the wreck remains under investigation.

Bryant praised the alertness of the WSDOT plow driver.

“He saw something that just didn’t make sense,” Bryant said. “He stopped and there’s the car. It slid way off the roadway because he kind of noticed the roadway and ‘hey what are these marks here,’ … thankfully it turned out to be her. If they don’t spot her it could turn out a lot worse. Hopefully it turns out OK.”