In July 2010, Donna Cooper, her daughter, Gina, and their friend Jenny Leung took a day trip to Death Valley National Park’s museum, Scotty’s Castle.
On the way home, a wrong turn disoriented them. They turned to their GPS, but it pointed them deeper into the desolate park rather than onto the paved road that would have taken them toward home. They eventually ran out of gas. With no cell phone signal, the women had no idea they were driving into one of the most remote and unforgiving corners of the 3.5 million-acre desert.
Sleeping in their car the first night, they later managed to get their Hyundai Accent to run on fumes for several miles through treacherous terrain, eventually finding an abandoned campsite. With limited resources and intense valley heat, a rescue couldn’t come soon enough for the women.
Find out the dramatic end of the story on “20/20: Highways From Hell” Friday at 10 ET, and chime in on the now-ubiquitous technology in the online ballot below.