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Driver rescued after 14 hours in Northport ravine

NORTHPORT (AP) — A driver, who apparently went into a ravine after accidentally hitting the accelerator instead of the brake at a stop sign, was trapped for almost 14 hours before she was noticed and rescued.

Mary Rice Brown, 74, suffered minor injuries when her green Ford Taurus plowed through the intersection and into the Northwood Lake spillway's ravine about 8 p.m. Monday.

Based on the tire tracks, authorities said it appears the vehicle hit a small tree, went airborne into the ravine, bounced off the spillway's concrete sides, then stopped at the far end of the spillway, about 150 yards from the intersection. The windshield and driver's side were crushed, and two wheels were missing.

Public Works crew chief Mark Caine was the first person to notice the vehicle about 9 a.m. Tuesday.

"I thought it was something strange for a car to be there, so I circled the block and got out of the truck for a closer look, and saw there was someone inside," Caine told The Tuscaloosa News. The Northport Fire Department freed Brown around 10 a.m. Tuesday. Police said Brown, who was taken to a hospital, had hypothermia from the overnight temperature dropping to 26 degrees, as well as minor cuts and bruises.

Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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