I was unfamiliar with the story of Norman Ollestad until an e-mail from tireless reader Don J. about Ollestad’s new memoir, “Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival.” The pertinent details:
A Cessna 172 crashed into Ontario Peak in the San Gabriel Mountains on Feb. 19, 1979. There were four passengers: a pilot, a young woman, an attorney and his 11-year-old son. The pilot and the father were killed and the young woman died hours later, leaving the boy, Ollestad, to make his way down the mountain alone.
In the freezing cold, he slid down the hill on his pants, holding a stick in his fractured hands to brake his descent. Ten hours after the crash, he made it to Mt. Baldy Village and was taken to a hospital, bloody and bruised but alive. Whoa.
The book has already been optioned by Warner Bros. for a movie. Here’s the Amazon link for the book.