Umatilla County Sheriff's officers in the search and rescue division went out to save people stuck in the snow and GPS is NOT to blame on either of these situations. One was an elderly couple given bad directions advice and the other was a couple trying to take a "scenic route" back to Idaho.

From the Umatilla County Sheriff:

At approximately 10pm, on January 4th, 2020, the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office was informed that two separate vehicles were stuck in the snow, several miles east of Ukiah on Forest Service Road 52. Local towing companies would not respond. Sheriff’s Search and Rescue members Sergeant Dwight Johnson and Craig Russell responded to the incident with one of our Polaris UTVs, equipped with snow tracks.

They located the first stranded vehicle, a Volkswagen Jetta, at approximately 1:45am on Road 52 in the Pearson Ridge area. The car was occupied by a young couple who were trying to take a "scenic route" back to Idaho. Both of them were doing okay, so Sergeant Johnson and Craig they continued east in the UTV for about ¾ of a mile and located the second vehicle, a GMC Denali SUV, which was occupied by an elderly couple from Roseburg. This couple said they were told by "someone in Boardman" that they could get to Granite on this road (this would be true in the summer, not in the winter).

We assisted both stranded couples by freeing their vehicles and escorting them back to Ukiah. It was a long night, but all turned out well.


The local tow companies are like, "Seriously? Stuck? I'm not going out in this..."

Umatilla County Sheriff's Office, thank you for your (forest) service.

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