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Monday, October 26, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Authorities find missing Athol man on ATV after four days pinned to a tree

Howard Coates, seen here in this undated photograph released by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, was found alive and pinned to a tree on his ATV late Sunday. Coates had been missing since Thursday, prompting a search that included air units. (Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)
Howard Coates, seen here in this undated photograph released by the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office, was found alive and pinned to a tree on his ATV late Sunday. Coates had been missing since Thursday, prompting a search that included air units. (Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office)

A 66-year-old Athol man missing since Thursday was discovered injured but alive Sunday afternoon, the Kootenai County Sheriff’s Office said.

A family riding dirt bikes on an unmarked trail off North Pope Road contacted authorities just after 5 p.m. Sunday, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office. Authorities had been searching for Howard Coates since he left his residence on an all-terrain vehicle Thursday after 7 p.m., the Sheriff’s Office said. Coates was found pinned between his vehicle and a tree with injuries not thought to be life-threatening, according to the news release.

Authorities believe Coates was pinned there for four days without access to medication. He’d been dressed in pajama bottoms and no shirt.

Air units had been assisting the search. Coates was airlifted to Kootenai Health in Coeur d’Alene for treatment of his injuries.

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