Man rescued after fleeing officers, getting stuck in badger hole, police say

Police and state troopers rescued a man Thursday morning from a badger hole after he fled into the cramped space while trying to flee officers, according to Oregon State Police.

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Authorities found Gregory Morrow, 22, stuck about 8 feet underground hours after tracking a stolen car to a nearby ravine.

"Most likely, Morrow would have died from exposure, as he would not have been able to free himself," state troopers said in a news release.

Police first started searching for Morrow after a stolen 2001 Chevrolet Tahoe fled from a trooper who tried to stop it in Ontario. Two men and a dog were inside the vehicle.

The driver, identified by troopers as Morrow, jumped a curb to get away from authorities. The trooper gave chase. The Ontario Police Department joined the pursuit, but it ended quickly because of safety concerns.

Authorities searched land near Vale, owned by the Bureau of Land Management, after getting information that the stolen Tahoe was in the area. Several hours later, authorities found the Tahoe's passenger, identified by troopers as 35-year-old Jerry Boatman.

He was arrested and charged with third-degree escape and a probation violation.

A few hours after Boatman's arrest, an aircraft called to search for the stolen car spotted it in a ravine. Authorities followed tracks from the vehicle that stetched over an area of more than a mile before they found the dog.

"As law enforcement approached the dog, it fled into a large badger hole and would not come out," troopers said. "After getting the dog out, they could hear a male screaming for help from within the hole."

The screaming man was identified as Morrow. He was stuck in the badger hole feet-first and was losing feeling in his arm, troopers said.

Authorities freed him after about an hour and a half of digging. He was treated for minor injuries at a local hospital and arrested and charged with a probation violation. Troopers said additional charges are pending against Morrow, although they didn't say what those charges are.

Authorities continue to investigate the case.