Rescuers help 2 couples who got stranded in snow in Umatilla County

Umatilla County search and rescue
Photo courtesy of Umatilla County Sheriff's Office

UMATILLA COUNTY, Wash. – The Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office says search-and-rescue (SAR) team members rescued two couples who got stuck driving in snow and became stranded for hours late Saturday night.

At about 10 p.m., the sheriff’s office was informed of two vehicles that were stuck in the snow on Forest Service Road 52, several miles east of Ukiah.

Local towing companies would not respond to the area, so the sheriff’s office sent two SAR members in a Polaris UTV with snow tracks to go find them.

The rescuers found the first vehicle, a Volkswagen Jetta on Road 52 in the Pearson Ridge area around 1:45 a.m. Deputies said it was occupied by a young couple trying to take the “scenic route” back to Idaho, according to a news release.

Both of them were doing okay, so the rescuers continued east for about three quarters of a mile and found the second vehicle, a GMC Denali, which was occupied by an elderly couple from Roseburg, Oregon. This couple said someone in Boardman told them they could get to the town of Granite on this road, which would be true in the summer but not winter.

The SAR team members helped both couples by freeing their vehicles and escorting them back to Ukiah.

“It was a long night, but all turned out well,” the sheriff’s office said.