ST. GEORGE – A woman who was apparently attempting to go off-roading in a passenger car rolled her vehicle early Friday morning on an old Jeep trail southwest of Green Valley.
The incident occurred west of Plantation Drive off the Green Valley Loop and Bear Claw Poppy Trail, St. George Police Officer Lona Trombley said. St. George Police officers were dispatched at 12:49 a.m. to the call.
The area is in the direction of the Zen Trail, Washington County Search and Rescue Liaison Darrel Cashin said.
“She rolled the vehicle and then tried to walk home,” Trombley said.
After apparently getting lost, the 25-year-old woman called a friend, who subsequently called police.
The 25-year-old woman was driving a silver 2013 Subaru passenger car, Trombley said.
St. George Police Department, Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers and Intermountain Life Flight spent several hours searching for the woman.
Intermountain Life Flight arrived in the area at 1:55 a.m. and located the woman’s vehicle at 2:06 a.m.
Officers hiked some distance to the vehicle, Trombley said, but found it empty. Officers were unable to locate the woman, and Washington County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue was called at 3:36 a.m.
The west side search and rescue ground team responded with 12 members in Jeeps and all-terrain vehicles to a location south and west of Green Valley, in the direction of the Zen Trail, Cashin said.
“Our main concern was if she had stumbled into a ravine or something,” Cashin said.
Cashin said he doesn’t know how the woman got her passenger car into the area in the first place.
“It’s very rough country.”
Not knowing what direction the missing driver would have headed, rescue volunteers searched in all directions from where the vehicle was found, Cashin said, mostly on foot.
One of the volunteers located a backpack 200-300 yards from the vehicle. Life Flight continued to help with the search until the woman was found. Shortly after locating the backpack – about 5:15 a.m. – the woman was found near a large rock, Cashin said.
One searcher went up to the woman and shook her, asking if she was OK, Cashin said. The woman was checked out medically and had bumps and scrapes for which she refused medical treatment, and she was in good enough health to hike back to a vehicle.
The Subaru was disabled and had to be towed from the scene. It is unknown at the time of this report whether the woman was wearing a seat belt. No criminal charges are pending at this time.
Trombley said it’s a bad idea to go off-road at night in unfamiliar territory, adding that it’s especially important to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return.
“It’s never a good idea to go in an area you’re not familiar with,” Trombley said. “You need to make sure that you have the proper vehicle and equipment and first aid equipment in the event that there is something that goes wrong.”
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