ST. GEORGE – Six female family members were rescued late Sunday night from the remote Slaughter Creek area of northwest Washington County.
Washington County Search and Rescue Liaison Darrel Cashin got the call approximately 8:30 p.m. of a stranded vehicle in the Slaughter Creek Wilderness near the Nevada border. The area is north of Motoqua, south of Enterprise Reservoir and west of Gunlock.
“There were six ladies in the vehicle, in a Dodge Ram pickup,” Cashin said.
Those in the truck ranged in age from “older” to a 12-year-old, Cashin said. The group was stranded following the blowout of one of the truck tires.
“They had been attempting to go from Enterprise Reservoir down to Veyo on the General Steam road,” Cashin said. However, there are a number of side roads that break off General Steam.
“Somehow they took a wrong turn, and they ended up way out on the west side on Slaughter Creek,” Cashin said, “and they were lost. They had no idea where they were at.”
No one in the truck knew if they had a spare tire or a jack in the vehicle.
“No one had ever taught them how to change a tire,” Cashin said.
It took responders about an hour to reach the stranded party. One rescuer went in from Veyo via the General Steam road; five others, along with a Bureau of Land Management officer, took the Motoqua Road. Responders changed the tire on the truck and led the group back to safety.
“They would have been in trouble had we left them out there,” Cashin said.
The group wasn’t as familiar with the area as they should have been and were not prepared with food, water and warm clothing. They had only one bottle of water left and were not dressed for cold nighttime temperatures.
But they did the right thing by calling 911, Cashin said, which allowed emergency personnel to acquire their GPS coordinates.
Even in remote areas, cell phone service can often be acquired at the very top of hills or ridgelines where a direct view of a cell tower will allow service, even if the tower is many miles away.
Once contact is made with 911, Cashin said, it is important to stay put and remain with your vehicle, which the women did.
There were several factors which led up to the women getting stuck in a remote area, Cashin said.
“There was just a multitude of little mistakes that ended up putting them in a bad situation. And that’s normally what happens,” Cashin said.
“It’s not one huge mistake. It’s a series of small things that happen that you kind of ignore or don’t realize until they kind of accumulate and you find yourself in need, in a bad situation.”
And everyone should know how to change a tire, Cashin said.
“I taught my daughters how to do it.”
The operation concluded around 1 a.m. Monday, Cashin said, and no one was injured.
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