DESCHUTES COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE SAR ASSISTS STRANDED MOTORISTS IN LAKE COUNTY
Occurred: March 14, 2020 at 6:18 PM
Location: Forest Service Rd 22, about 16 miles east of La Pine in Lake County
Rescued: Martin, William, 48 yo male, Bend OR & 4 of his family members
On 3/15/20 at about 1818 hours, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue received a mutual aid request from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office regarding five motorists stuck in a vehicle in snow on Forest Service Road 22 (Finley Butte Rd) about 16 miles east of La Pine in Lake County. Lake County advised they were unable to respond which is why they were requesting help from DCSO SAR.
The motorists had reportedly been attempting to drive from Bend to La Pine via the FS 22 Rd when they became stuck. The subjects attempted to call a tow truck without success. They also attempted to walk out several miles to a separate vehicle that was driving down the 22 Rd from La Pine to get them, but the distance and weather prevented them from doing so, resulting in their call to 911. The stranded motorists were later identified as William Martin and four members of his family. The motorists had a 4 wheel drive vehicle, food, water, cell phone charger and plenty of fuel.
Based on this information two DCSO SAR volunteers responded about six miles down the 22 Rd where they then deployed in the DCSO SAR ARGO ATV. The SAR volunteers traveled east approximately 10 miles on the 22 Rd to the subjects’ location in the ARGO, reaching them at about 9:45 pm. The motorists were all unharmed and were provided transport back to the La Pine area where additional family members were waiting for them.
This winter, numerous motorists have attempted to travel on FS 22 Rd or other forests roads near it, ultimately becoming stuck and calling for assistance. DCSO recommends limiting travel on these roads until snowpack recedes significantly. If you find yourself having to travel these roads this time of year be sure to bring appropriate vehicles, equipment including a shovel, lighting, clothing, blankets, food, water, navigation and communication devices.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Street Crimes, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with six K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today led by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves the nearly 190,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 230 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 187 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.