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#200425 - 04/18/10 03:42 PM Car stranded 7 days, woman dies
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
A car with four people apparently took a wrong turn and ended up stuck on a rough back road 60km from the highway. They were stranded for seven days before rescue.

A 911 dispatcher appears to have mishandled their call.

One of the car's occupants died, possibly of hypothermia, after walking back to the highway for help.

http://www.thestarphoenix.com/Woman+dies+after+foul/2917553/story.html

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/nati...article1538182/

http://edmonton.ctv.ca/servlet/an/local/...ub=EdmontonHome


Edited by dougwalkabout (04/18/10 03:43 PM)

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#200429 - 04/18/10 04:27 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: dougwalkabout]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Tragic. The woman who died made a valiant effort and is credited with saving the lives of the other woman and her children. God bless her.

Hiking that distance is no easy task for most people, I will venture to say. Would be interested to know how she was equipped for clothes, fire-making ability and water.

Yet another cautionary note that a survival situation may be around the next corner.

Thanks for the links.



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#200458 - 04/19/10 12:19 AM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Dagny]
BruceZed Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 01/06/08
Posts: 318
Loc: Canada
To me its a gentle reminder to ensure that well packed emergency equipment in my vehicle at all times and that I always have a means to call for help when outside cell range.
_________________________
Bruce Zawalsky
Chief Instructor
Boreal Wilderness Institute
boreal.net

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#200479 - 04/19/10 04:26 AM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: BruceZed]
MostlyHarmless Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 06/03/09
Posts: 982
Loc: Norway
It is also a reminder to have someone expect you - someone with the wits to raise the alarm if you don't.

Those women probably consider the area their home turf. You don't leave a game plan with two independent parties to go shopping, do you? Being your home turf does not prevent you from getting into trouble.

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#200508 - 04/19/10 03:43 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: MostlyHarmless]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
This is an odd one: it wasn't really a survival situation until AFTER the phone call.

I wonder if our Canadian compadres here on the forum could keep an eye on this and let us know what the results of the investigation are?

Sue

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#200525 - 04/19/10 06:04 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Susan]
dougwalkabout Offline
Crazy Canuck
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 2921
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Yes, it is an odd one. A lot of little things went sideways, turning a nuisance situation (wrong turn, stuck car) into a fatality. And more lives could have been lost.

The first phone call to 911 was essentially a call for a tow truck, not a rescue. The tow truck never showed up, and the call was never followed up.

There are still a lot of unanswered questions. Apparently two more calls to 911 were made. How did this fail to escalate into a rescue? Miscommunication or misunderstanding? Cultural issues? Why weren't more calls made when things got desperate? Dead cell phone? And why didn't anyone report a mother and two young children missing for nearly a week? There must be more to the story.

I confess my first response was anger/frustration. This loss of life was so completely preventable. An extra $10 worth of clothing/gear per person would have made the difference. The lady who walked out would have survived and brought help for the others. But it's never that simple.

If I take anything from this, it's the importance of letting someone know where you're going and when they should sound the alarm. The other thing is a reminder that the gear in my car may be used by someone other than myself -- possibly someone with little knowledge. Maybe I need to label some stuff with suggested uses, and include tiny booklets on first aid and survival basics.


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#200544 - 04/19/10 11:42 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: dougwalkabout]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 343
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I agree this is probably their home turf, but if I disappear in my home turf for 7 days, someone would notice. Heck, unless it is school vacation, I'd think those kids' schools would have noticed!

That said, my uncle's old adage "If you've got a pair of boots you can get out" rings true here. If you're in decent shape you could walk ~36 miles (60k) fairly easily. I'm not in great shape and I can run 10k in an hour.

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#200545 - 04/19/10 11:55 PM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: roberttheiii]
roberttheiii Offline
Enthusiast

Registered: 02/13/09
Posts: 343
Loc: Connecticut, USA
I'll note, doing a little math in my head, I figure over a muddy road I might be able to sustain 20 minutes miles, so it'd be a 12 hour walk, figure with fatigue, 30 minute miles and push that up to 18 hours. 18 hours and you're talking seriously unpleasant and the need to have light/moon (maybe stars) or bivouac.

Point being, a really bad situation. I would say in a situation where I wasn't following a road, 36 miles through forest, I probably wouldn't make it!

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#200555 - 04/20/10 02:09 AM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: dougwalkabout]
Susan Offline
Geezer

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
"And why didn't anyone report a mother and two young children missing for nearly a week?"

They apparently live on a reservation, and if yours are like ours, there could be multiple answers to that question.

"Why weren't more calls made when things got desperate? Dead cell phone?"

Because the kids used the batteries talking to their friends beforehand? Left the charger at home?

roberttheiii: "If you're in decent shape you could walk ~36 miles (60k) fairly easily. I'm not in great shape and I can run 10k in an hour."

Fine. Do it for six hours. How about doing it in something other than running shoes? Sweating yet? That's too bad, because the temp is dropping to the mid-30s, and there's a 10 mph wind, which should put the windchill about 27F. Add some worry about your Mom and two kids back there in Nowhere. Speed up a little, a little sweat never hurt anyone...

When things happen, they always seem to happen at the worst time, not the best time.

Doug, I'd like to hear how this plays out, okay?

Sue

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#200563 - 04/20/10 02:51 AM Re: Car stranded 7 days, woman dies [Re: Susan]
Dagny Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 11/25/08
Posts: 1917
Loc: Washington, DC
Great points, Susan. You have a knack for cutting to the chase.

I wonder how mountainous the terrain is. Big difference between hoofing it on a level plain and going up and down and up and down hills. Especially with, as you point out -- the stress of the situation.

Most people couldn't run 10k in an hour if a grizzly was on their tail.

I will not presume to be able to imagine being in such a situation. Even with all the gear, food and water I always have in my SUV (thanks in no small part to the ETS community), it would be scary and daunting. Poor thing died alone and under duress.

Something to be said for taking my mountain bikes everywhere when out of the city, which is pretty much the case now since most road trips are camp trips these days. My car gear includes multiple redundancies for making fire, but the only backup for the car is my feet, unless the bikes are along.

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