OVERDUE MOTORIST: NEAR BLACK ROCK MOUNTAIN, ON THE ARIZONA STRIP

Published by The Bee News

October 25, 2023

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On Sunday (10/22) morning, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the wife of a 74-year-old male who was traveling from Oregon to Cornville, Arizona and had not arrived yet. She last spoke to him on Friday (10/20) and indicated he was driving a Toyota Prius, but was not answering his phone. She received an air tag notification Friday that he was near Littlefield, Arizona. She received another air tag notification Sunday morning, that indicated he was on the Arizona Strip. Search and Rescue activated and began a route and location search towards the area of the last air tag notification, near County Route 5 – about 15 miles south of the Utah border. About 1:45pm Sunday afternoon, the husband managed to get cell service and call his wife indicating he was lost and at some point, had become stuck and was pulled out by someone in the area. After getting unstuck, he drove to a high point looking for cell service to call his wife. She had him call 911, which provided his current location and he stayed there. Search teams located him near Black Rock Mountain. He was in good spirits and still has some water with him, but out of food and happy to see rescuers. He indicated he had been out there for a few days and had followed the GPS in his vehicle, when the route led him into the remote and rugged wilderness area of the Arizona Strip. Rescuers led him back out to pavement to safety. Athough technology can be a great tool, a little preplanning with additional sources may help prevent an unintended tour of the Arizona Strip that may have ended much worse or possibly fatal. If the road conditions deteriorate from pavement, it may be a good time to find another source of information before continuing. We have seen many motorists end up in unfortunate situations due to poor data loaded in GPS devices that are then used for navigation. Something as simple as a “road construction delay” has sent driver’s down two-track Jeep trails – instead of remaining on the pavement. If something just does not seem right, find another source before continuing down roads suggested by GPS navigational devices.

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