Bend family rescued after SUV gets stuck in the snow near Taghum Butte

A Bend family needed Deschutes County Search and Rescue’s help Monday night after their SUV got stuck in the snow near Taghum Butte.

Dep. Joshua Westfall, the assistant search and rescue coordinator, said dispatch got a call just after 6 p.m. from a stuck motorist off 1820 Road between China Hat Road and Paulina Lake.

The caller, later identified as 48-year-old James Sipe, reported that he and two other family members had been driving on the road when they got stuck in the snow.

Sipe hiked about a half-mile to an elevated location so he could get better reception to call 911, Westfall said.

One Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Deputy and two Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue volunteers responded to help.

The DCSO SAR volunteers traveled down China Hat Rd about 12 miles to 1820 Rd where they then deployed in the DCSO SAR ARGO ATV, Westfall said.

DCSO SAR volunteers traveled about nine miles south on the 1820 Rd to Sipes’ location near Taghum Butte in the ARGO, reaching them around 8:28 p.m.

The family and their dog, who were all unharmed, and were given a ride back to Bend.

DCSO resources returned to quarters around 11:00 p.m.

The DCSO would like to remind the public to use caution when traveling on forest roads this time of year due to snowpack.

Road conditions vary significantly and roads can quickly become impassable, Westfall said.

Further, if you are traversing in these conditions be sure to bring appropriate vehicles, equipment, lighting, clothing, food, water, navigation and communication devices.




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