A missing Texas family whose vehicle got stuck in deep snow in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains was rescued “alive and with no serious injuries” on Christmas Eve after being missing for 24 hours, according to local authorities.
A man and woman, said to be in their 30s, and their 12-year-old daughter had set off from El Paso, Texas, to deliver furniture to Norwood, Colorado, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The dad told police that the family had relied on electronic GPS to find the fastest route to their destination but their rented truck had become stuck in the snow in San Juan National Forest.
The family tried to dig the truck out but were unsuccessful in their efforts, the sheriff’s office said. To warm themselves overnight, they ran the truck’s engine for heat and covered themselves in furniture blankets. Early on Tuesday morning, they decided to leave their truck in search of help. They wrapped their shoes with shipping plastic and began walking.
Authorities said they were tipped off to the family’s plight by a concerned family member who’d called about their disappearance on Monday night.
That call prompted a multi-county search involving several agencies, the sheriff’s office said. Officers, however, weren’t able to locate the family overnight.
It was only on Tuesday morning that San Miguel County Undersheriff Eric Berg, who was aboard his personal aircraft, spotted the family walking on a forest road — a couple of miles from their truck.
“The family is lucky to have had moderate temperatures and our ability to use aircraft to locate them,” Sheriff Bill Masters said in a statement.
“But people need to remember that electronic GPS systems are not always the best guide. At this time of year especially, roads like these are not always passable,” he added.
The sheriff also stressed the importance of having warm clothing, as well as extra food and water, stocked in one’s vehicle in case of emergencies.