Wyoming Highway Patrol troopers locate stranded and lost motorist

SHERIDAN – A 19 year-old female was located by Troopers on a U.S. Forest Service road in the Big Horn Mountains after she was reported overdue by worried family. She did have a cell phone, however, there was no contact with her either by text or by phone.

On November 16th Troopers were given an ATL (Attempt To Locate) on her red 2003 Chevrolet Monte Carlo. She was to be traveling from South Dakota and was due to arrive in Powell, Wyoming on November 15th, but never showed up.

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The last time anyone heard from her was the evening before and she stated she had just passed a Forest Service sign on a curvy road. She was apparently following driving instructions on her GPS.

On a hunch, a Trooper from Sheridan and a Trooper from Lovell began searching on US 14A and US 14 over the Big Horn Mountains which sits at an elevation close to 9,400 feet. The Troopers met near Burgess Junction and neither had seen any sign of the vehicle on their travels up the mountain.

As the Troopers headed back down the mountain they received word that someone had received a text message from the missing teen. With assistance from her cell phone carrier they were able to narrow the search area to Forest Service Road #180.

A Trooper located the missing vehicle stuck in the snow approximately 12 miles from the highway, however the missing teen was not with the vehicle. The Trooper was unable to drive any further in his patrol vehicle. He could see footprints leading away from the vehicle and he began to follow those prints on foot.

The Trooper located the missing teen, cold and afraid, walking down the road a short distance away. The Trooper gave up his gloves and hat to her and gave her a candy bar. An off duty WYDOT worker picked them up in his pickup and gave them a ride back to the vehicles.

Troopers transported the missing teen to the hospital in Sheridan where she was treated and released with no reported injuries. The teen told Troopers she became stuck on the road around 8:30 p.m. the evening before. She stayed in the vehicle to stay warm and began walking to find help the next morning.

With a busy travel time approaching for the holiday season Troopers want to remind motorists that even though you have a GPS you should also look at a map to make sure of your route. Make sure you advise someone of your route and when you plan to leave and plan to arrive. In addition, make sure you have the proper equipment, extra clothing and some non perishable food supply stored in your vehicle.