Oregon transportation staffers rescue woman's holiday road trip

NEAR WILSONVILLE, Ore. - Janice Conover was on the road like thousands of other holiday travelers recently when she stopped at a busy rest area outside Wilsonville, Ore.

Refreshed, she jumped back in her car and got back on Interstate 5, heading north with Idaho as her destination.

The only problem was Conover's purse, packed with over $1,000 in cash and personal identification, didn't make it back into her car with her. Conover had left the purse on a restroom railing at the rest stop.

Fortunately, Oregon Travel Experience staffers, including Rest Area Administrator Heather Swanson, were completing their rounds at the rest area and were preparing to return to Salem when Swanson came across Conover's purse.

"It was pretty clear to me that this very large wallet contained someone's entire life," said Swanson. "Inside were bank cards, health and medical identification, and a significant amount of cash."

A quick call to Conover's insurance carrier resulted in a call to Conover's cell phone. Swanson and another OTE worker arranged to meet Conover at an Oregon City shopping mall to reunite her with her purse.

"I am so happy we caught her before she needed gas or was hundreds of miles down the road," said Swanson. "Janice was so overcome with emotion, she sat in her vehicle with her face in her hands before she could continue her trip."

Swanson refused a reward offered by Conover.

Oregon Travel Experience is a semi-independent state agency located in Salem, Oregon with a focus on transportation, according to a press release. Find out more about OTE here.