Written by Lyle Ahrens, Posted: Thu, March 1 2012 at 4:21 PM, Updated: Thu, March 1 2012 at 4:40 PM
A Klamath County man is recovering tonight following a dramatic search in the Keno area. 44 year old John Eric Hartman was found by Troy Culver just before ten this morning...
"All of a sudden, I hear John snoring over there against a tree - I ran over there, and hollered at my wife to go get search and rescue - we got him out of there."
Sergeant Randy Swan notes that Waltman went out looking for his dog in the Cedar Trails area south of Keno at around 10:30 Wednesday night.
"He had some disabilities, and he had not come home."
Search and rescue crews were called in around midnight. Deputy Brian Bryson notes that rescue efforts were hampered by snow...
"Yeah, it snowed all night, we probably got three to four inches of snow."
A tearful Culver noted that Waltman was happy to be found...
"I managed to get him to answer me back, and he said, 'Thank God you're here.' And then he put my coat on, and my jacket, and my hat - I kept him as warm as I could. He's been in and out of consciousness, and everybody came up here and we got him out."
"He had some distress - medical was on scene, and part of our crew - and they transported him to the Keno Fire Department." Noted Deputy Bryson.
Waltman was taken to Sky Lakes Medical Center, where he's listed in 'serious' condition.
Ruby the dog is still missing, she's described as a black lab mix. If you should find her, please give the Klamath County Sheriff's Office a call.
KOTI-TV NBC2 reporter Lyle Ahrens moved from Nebraska to Klamath Falls in the late 1970's. He instantly fell in love with the mountains, the trees and the rivers, and never once regretted the move.
Lyle's job history is quite colorful. He’s managed a pizza parlor; he’s been a bartender, and a “kiwifruit grader” at an organic orchard in New Zealand. A Klamath Falls radio station hired Lyle in the mid 90's as a news writer and commercial producer. In 2004, Lyle joined the KOTI/KOBI news operation.
Lyle notes with pride that he has a big responsibility presenting the Klamath Basin to a wide and varied audience. "The on-going water crisis has underscored the fact that the people and the issues in the Klamath Basin are every bit as diverse as the terrain. Winning and keeping the trust of the viewers, as well as the newsmakers, is something I strive for with each story".
When he's not busy reporting the news, Lyle enjoys astronomy, playing guitar, fixing old radios and listening to anything by Sheryl Crow.