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Rescue of family 'a Christmas miracle'

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  • Rescue of family 'a Christmas miracle' Sheriff's official: Rescue of family 'a Christmas miracle'

    PAUL DAVENPORT,Associated Press 14 hours ago

    A sheriff's official says it was "a Christmas miracle" that searchers found and rescued members of a Pennsylvania family stranded in two separate locations in a northern Arizona forest after their vehicle got stuck on a snowy road while trying to reach the North Rim of the Grand Canyon, which is closed for winter.

    Once a major winter storm began hitting the region Saturday afternoon, it probably would have been impossible to locate Karen Klein, who had gotten stranded with husband Eric Klein of Easton, Pennsylvania, and their 10-year-old son, Isaac, said Jim Driscoll, chief deputy for Coconino County.

    "Our guys are ecstatic. This is a save," Driscoll said of the searchers. "We were able to get a family back together for Christmas. It could have gone very bad very, very easily."

    The family got stuck on a forest road after they found State Route 67 to the North Rim closed for the winter but sought an alternate way to reach their destination, Driscoll said.

    "Google Maps shows there's a way ó but it's impassable," he said, adding. "This is a problem we've had numerous times."

    Searchers on snowmobiles early Saturday morning tracked and located Karen Klein, 46, after she walked about 26 miles in search of help before taking refuge in a cabin at a seasonally closed park entrance, Driscoll said.

    Other searchers rescued Eric and Isaac Klein Friday afternoon after the 47-year-old father was able to hike to higher ground to get cellphone service to call for help, Driscoll said.

    That contact started an air and ground search for Karen Klein, with multiple agencies participating, Driscoll said.

    "This is a Christmas miracle," Driscoll said. "We were really beginning to think, especially with the snow coming in ... we pulled out all the stops."

    Driscoll said Karen Klein was exhausted from her cross-country trek through and over snow as deep as 3 feet and searchers found her curled up on a bed in a cabin. "She was too exhausted to even make a fire," he said.

    The closed entrance station is about 30 miles from the gate where the highway is closed for the winter.

    Several National Park employees stay at the North Rim over the winter and can get in and out via snowmobiles, but they're miles away in an area where the park lodge, campground and other closed facilities are located.

    The father and son were treated for exposure and released at a hospital in Kanab, Utah, where Karen Klein was initially taken before being transferred to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George, Utah, for treatment of what Driscoll called "pretty severe cold hand injuries."

    Hospital spokeswomen did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

    Driscoll said Karen Klein is a community college professor who is a marathon runner and triathlete and that the family agreed before she set out to get help that she was in the best shape to make the attempt. She was wearing a parka, a knit cap and hiking boots but not snow gear, he said.

    "So she's in really good shape. Had she not been, she wouldn't have made it," he said.

    Her cross-country hike lasted over 24 hours, beginning Thursday afternoon and ending Friday afternoon, and she "kept moving to stay warm," Driscoll said.

    Searchers from Utah's Kane County Sheriff's Office tracked her through the forest and found her at the closed entrance station, where Coconino County Sheriff's Office searchers on vehicle-sized snow machines joined them after coming down the highway, which the Arizona Department of Transportation had partly plowed to all the rescuers to move faster, Driscoll said.

  • #2
    Many would look at this as a human achievement and some luck. The woman's fitness, the family's choices, the weather warning system, the well trained Search and Rescue team. The chief deputy, one of those involved who knows the many factors they work against, is in a great position to spot the miracle. Praise the Lord.


    • #3
      Definitely a miracle.
      Last edited by Lou Newton; December 27, 2016, 06:26 PM.


      • #4
        Originally posted by Baruch View Post
        Many would look at this as a human achievement and some luck. The woman's fitness, the family's choices, the weather warning system, the well trained Search and Rescue team. The chief deputy, one of those involved who knows the many factors they work against, is in a great position to spot the miracle. Praise the Lord.
        Thanks for the reply Barry. Amen, it is only those who seek The Truth that are given sight to see Truth; and those who were involved in this rescue were able to see that it was a miracle.


        • #5
          Originally posted by Steve Hollander View Post
          Definitely a miracle.
          Thanks Steve and amen.


          • #6
            Here is a video about the event:

            Mother Walks 30 Miles to Save Her Family Stranded in the Snow Near the Grand Canyon

            JAMES NELSON,Good Morning America 6 hours ago

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            Mom Rescues Family Stranded in Grand Canyon
            giant snowdrift and after 45
            miles of walking combined, the

            A mother said she walked 30 miles through the snow on Christmas Eve to get help for her family who was stranded in their car near the Grand Canyon.

            Karen Klein, Eric Klein, and their 10-year-old son Isaac set out on a family trip to the Grand Canyon, using a GPS as their guide, when they wound up driving down a walking path and having their car get stuck in the mud.

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            Eric Klein had recently broken his back, so Karen Klein set out to seek help by flagging someone down on the main road or finding cell phone service, the family said in an interview with "Good Morning America" that aired today.

            Karen Klein traversed approximately ten miles through three feet of snow when she noticed that the main highway had been closed. She then remembered another entrance to the park 14 miles away, and started walking in that direction, she told "GMA."

            Eventually, it became dark and started snowing, she said. But she forced herself to stay awake throughout the night, eating twigs from an aspen tree and drinking melted snow.

            "Your priorities definitely align very quickly," Karen Klein said of her survival journey. "I kept thinking, this isnít how my life is supposed to end, no no no. My son needs his mother, my husband needs his wife. I am not letting my mother bury me. I canít let this happen."

            Klein said that through it all her family is what kept her going. "My instinct was to number one to save my family."

            "Your instincts kick in," she said, "that youíre a mom, this is what you do, this is what you have to do for your family. Thatís the number one priority."

            "It wasnít about staying alive for me," she said, "but it was about staying alive for everyone else."

            She eventually found a cabin, which was actually a guard's shack that was closed for the season. She broke a window, crawled into the cabin and collapsed, after walking for approximately 36 hours.

            "I think that people should realize that they have more strength within them than they think, whether itís a mental strength or a physical strength, and to draw upon that and to not give up hope," Karen Klein said.

            Meanwhile, her husband said he "knew something was wrong" when she didn't return for a couple of hours.

            Eric Klein said that he and his son slept overnight in the car and the next morning he walked about 15 miles north until he got cell reception, and then he called 911.

            "I am in the middle of the forest," Eric Klein said to the 911 operator. "We havenít seen a human being in over 24 hours -- not a car, not a skier, not a hunter, nothing."

            Emergency responders on snowmobiles were able to locate Eric Klein's car, and were then able to track Karen Klein at the cabin.

            The Coconino County Sheriff's office said in a statement that Karen Klein had "walked approximately 26 miles since Thursday afternoon in search of help for herself, husband and son whose vehicle had become stuck on a forest service road."

            The Kane County Sheriff's Office transported Eric and Isaac Klein to an ambulance and both received treatment for cold exposure, including frostbite. The Coconino County Sheriff's Office and the Kane County Sheriff's Office eventually found Karen Klein in the guard's shack and transported her to the hospital.

            "This is a Christmas miracle," Jim Driscoll, the chief deputy for Coconino County told the Associated Press. "We were able to get a family back together for Christmas. It could have gone very bad very, very easily."