(DOUGLAS COUNTY, Colo.) — Three people were recently rescued from Pike National Forest after heavy snowfall forced two of them to spend the night in the park.
According to the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office (DCSO), shortly after 3 p.m. on Thursday, May 11, DCSO received a call from a man who said he and two other men were stranded in a car in the Pike National Forest. The caller said the car had become stuck in the snow, and needed to be pulled out.
A deputy assigned to the area responded, and after two hours of searching, he was able to locate the stranded motorists near Fern Creek Road, northeast of Palmer Lake.
DCSO said the deputy tried to pull the stranded car out, but couldn’t free it from the snow that had accumulated. With snow continuing to fall in the area, the deputy decided to transport the three stranded people in his own vehicle to the nearest town, which was Woodland Park.
The deputy could only transport one person at a time due to the limited space in his truck, and after taking the first stranded motorist to Woodland Park, DCSO said the deputy was unable to make it back out to retrieve the other two in his truck because of the heavy snowfall.
Douglas County Search and Rescue was then called out, but by the time the rescue team had mobilized along with El Paso County Search and Rescue, several trees had fallen over, blocking the road. DCSO said the Douglas County Office of Emergency Management also responded, and all involved agencies kept trying throughout the night to reach the other two stranded motorists, using chainsaws to cut the fallen trees.
Finally, at 5:30 a.m. on Friday, the Air National Guard was called in to attempt an air rescue. Just before noon, the helicopter picked up the two remaining people and took them to Centennial Airport, where they were taken to the hospital to be checked out.
“I am extremely proud of our first responders and all the other agencies that came together to save these individuals,” said Douglas County Sheriff Darren Weekly. “Their actions and dedication to helping others is a testament to their commitment to our community.”