Pickup breakdown prompts rescue in snow N. of Prineville

Pair were OK; tow truck couldn't make it

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - Crook County Sheriff's Search and Rescue used snowmobiles and an ATV Monday night to reach two Prineville men whose pickup broke down in the snow on Forest Road 27 about 25 miles north of town, officials said.

Driver Jeff Randolph, 55, and friend Brad Firestone, 52, called 911 about 4:40 p.m. to seek help after getting stranded when their Toyota pickup had mechanical problems, Sgt. Brian Bottoms said. They were in about 18 inches of snow at the ti,e.

A tow truck from Active Towing was sent to assist, but due to the snow and terrain, after several hours of trying, the driver called dispatch and advised he could not get to the,

SAR was activated around 8:15 p.m. and staged at McKay Saddle, using snowmobiles and a side-by-side ATV to reach the pair. They were found in good condition with their pickup around 11:20 p.m.

Deputies said they had a fully charged cellphone, some food and light coats, with temperatures above freezing. Bottoms said in a news release that the pair "were prepared and did the right thing by staying with their vehicle until help arrived."

Bottoms also said the sheriff's office "would like to remind everyone when heading out into the woods, it is always good to let someone know where you are going and when you expect to be back. Remember to take extra food and water with you and be prepared for the appropriate weather conditions."

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