The Wallowa County Sheriff's Office, Wallowa Valley Ambulance Medic I and the Med Star I helicopter were called out last Thursday afternoon, March 13, to a remote location in the southern portion of Asotin County, Wash., to attend to an accidental gunshot wound victim.
Clarence Mallory, 66, who lives 10 miles northeast of Troy, had a .44 magnum bullet go through his right forearm when the pistol fell out of his holster and discharged when he was getting into his Jeep. Though he will undergo surgery in the near future, Mallory was bandaged and back home by Saturday night.
Due to the remoteness of the Mallory home, the standard 911 connection could not be made and Mallory's wife, Patricia, kept an operator from Corvallis on the phone for two hours relaying directions to Wallowa County Undersheriff Steve Rogers and the ambulance crew. Rogers said that he had to cut through two locked gates near Grouse Flat Road to get to the residence. With very muddy road conditions, the ambulance crew rode the final two miles of the 60 mile journey in the undersheriff's four wheel drive pickup.
Mallory was one half mile from his home at about 2:45 p.m. when the accident occurred. Though bleeding profusely, he was able to drive himself to his residence, from where the call for help was made. Rogers said that the elapsed time from when the operator contacted his office until the medics arrived at the house was 1 hour and 45 minutes.
EMT Bruce Womack asked Med Star from Pasco, Wash., to be on standby once the call for help came in and the Pasco based helicopter responded that they would go to the site and hover, said Rogers. An adequate, less muddy landing spot was found 200 yards from the house and Mallory was carried to the helicopter from where he was flown to a hospital in Walla Walla, Wash.