Released by: Dep. Joshua Westfall, Assistant Search And Rescue Coordinator
Occurred: 12/14/2020 6:09 PM
Location: Near Taghum Butte off the 1820 Rd (In between China Hat Rd/Paulina Lake)
Rescued: Sipe, James, Bend, OR, 48 yo male


On 12/14/20 at about 1809 hours, Deschutes County Dispatch received a 911 call from a stuck motorist off the 1820 Rd near Taghum Butte (in between China Hat Rd and Paulina Lake). The caller, later identified as James Sipe, reported that he and two other family members had been driving on the 1820 Rd when their vehicle had gotten stuck in the snow. After becoming stuck, Sipe hiked about a half a mile to an elevated location in order to call 911 due to having poor cell phone reception in their remote location.
One Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and two Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers responded to assist. The DCSO SAR volunteers traveled down China Hat Rd about 12 miles to the 1820 Rd where they then deployed in the DCSO SAR ARGO ATV. The DCSO SAR volunteers traveled approximately 9 miles south on the 1820 Rd to the subjects’ location near Taghum Butte in the ARGO, reaching them at about 8:28 pm. The subjects and their dog, who were all unharmed, were provided transport back to Bend at their request. DCSO resources returned to quarters at approximately 11:00 pm.
The DCSO would like to remind the public to use caution when traveling on forest roads this time of year due to snowpack. Road conditions vary significantly and roads can quickly become impassable. Further, if you are traversing in these conditions be sure to bring appropriate vehicles, equipment, lighting, clothing, 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, 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 over 200,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 259 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 191 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.