The following text in italics is by Darryl Drake, a member of the SYCSRT (Southern Yavapai County Sheriff’s Response Team) –
“A Texas couple, taking “the dirt road” to California, found themselves mired in deep sand in far western Yavapai County Monday afternoon.
After YCSO was notified (late afternoon on April 14, 2014) a “hasty” search was conducted based off a ping from the couple’s cellphone, but the pair could not be located in the dark desert.
Tuesday morning (just after 8 AM), SYCSRT returned to the area, and aided by the crew of the Rescue 1 helicopter, located the thankful travelers about 12 miles west of Highway 93, south of the Santa Maria River.
After checking the couple’s physical condition, SYCSRT escorted them back to blacktop, and the pair headed on to Kingman.
Their cell phone played an important role in their rescue, as did their ability to provide GPS coordinates today. They did have some food and water, but they, nor their vehicle, a 2WD Nissan Xterra, were prepared to tackle the desert terrain.”
Additional information – The couple, ages 70 and 62, were also insulin dependent highlighting the urgent need to locate both quickly. Once the Rescue 1 helicopter crew spotted the couple’s yellow SUV, they landed to access their medical condition and directed a rescue team to the location. Both were found in good condition considering the circumstances. Members of SYCSRT took the time to assist the couple by towing their vehicle out of the deep sand and escorting them back to the main road.
As indicated in past similar rescue efforts, those who decide to travel “side” roads without planning, proper supplies, and the right vehicle for the expected terrain, will always increase the likelihood of becoming stranded and risking injury from exposure to the elements. Fortunately in Yavapai County, we have the capability to conduct immediate aerial searches with assistance from dedicated volunteers like those in the SYCSRT.
Citizens can contact the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office with information or questions at 928-771-3260 or the YCSO website: www.ycsoaz.gov