Family Spends Freezing Night in Car After GPS Directions Leave Them Stranded

VIDEO: GPS Leads Family Stranded on Snowy Mountain RoadPlayABCNews.com
WATCH GPS Leads Family Stranded on Snowy Mountain Road

A family traveling to California found themselves stuck on an unplowed, snow-covered road after following the fastest route on their GPS navigation system.

Interested in Weather?

Add Weather as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Weather news, video, and analysis from ABC News.
Add Interest

Ron Sanquist and Karen Bonell-Sanquist, their 9-year-old daughter and the family dog were en route from Oregon when they say their GPS system directed them straight through the Page Mountain Sno-Park in the state’s Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest.

The family's car became stuck in the park, an area where many roads are not plowed at this time of year.

The Sanquists had no shovel or cellphone service, with no help in sight.

"I am not even sure if I had a shovel what I could have dug out," Ron Sanquist told ABC News.

The family took shelter inside the car overnight. The next morning, Ron Sanquist hiked 2 miles to find help and call 911.

Karen Bonell-Sanquist described the situation as "pretty scary."

"Especially because to the left was a downgrade, quite a steep one," she said.

Search-and-rescue crews reached the family and helped them get back on the road. The sheriff's office issued a warning for all drivers.

"Many GPS and map systems can steer folks in the wrong direction during winter travel where conditions are poor," the Josephine County Sheriff's Office said in a statement.

The Sanquists were able to reach their final destination in California about 17 hours after their original departure.

A similar situation happened to another couple in 2013 when their GPS directed them to a snowy stretch of highway that was closed because of treacherous conditions.

The couple, Mark and Kristine Wathke, were driving from Yellowstone National Park to Miles City, Montana, when they became stuck for six days on Beartooth Highway in Cody, Wyoming.

"We never saw any road closed signs. We never saw any barricades," Kristine Wathke said in an earlier interview about their ordeal.

The Wathkes said they survived on the food they had in their car, including bread, bottled water, a half-empty jar of jelly and oatmeal packets.

The couple was rescued by a rancher who took his snowmobile out to look for the Wathkes after the rancher's wife read on Facebook that the couple was missing.

Comments