Texas family stranded in Colorado's Rocky Mountains rescued after multi-county search

A missing Texas family whose vehicle got stuck in deep snow in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains was rescued “alive and with no serious injuries” on Christmas Eve after being missing for 24 hours, according to local authorities.

A man and woman, said to be in their 30s, and their 12-year-old daughter had set off from El Paso, Texas, to deliver furniture to Norwood, Colorado, the San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement. The dad told police that the family had relied on electronic GPS to find the fastest route to their destination but their rented truck had become stuck in the snow in San Juan National Forest.

The family tried to dig the truck out but were unsuccessful in their efforts, the sheriff’s office said. To warm themselves overnight, they ran the truck’s engine for heat and covered themselves in furniture blankets. Early on Tuesday morning, they decided to leave their truck in search of help. They wrapped their shoes with shipping plastic and began walking.

Authorities said they were tipped off to the family’s plight by a concerned family member who’d called about their disappearance on Monday night.

That call prompted a multi-county search involving several agencies, the sheriff’s office said. Officers, however, weren’t able to locate the family overnight.

It was only on Tuesday morning that San Miguel County Undersheriff Eric Berg, who was aboard his personal aircraft, spotted the family walking on a forest road — a couple of miles from their truck. 

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BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 22: Pedestrians don't let the weather get in the way of getting outside along the Boulder Creek path in Boulder, Coloardo on February 22, 2015. The weekend long snowstorm continues to drop more snow and cold temperatures and creating havoc on roadways through out the metro area and suburbs. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 22: Christine Shields, of Boulder, doesn't let the weather get in the way of her getting outside to enjoy some cross country skiing along the Boulder Creek path in Boulder, Coloardo on February 22, 2015. The weekend long snowstorm continues to drop more snow and cold temperatures and creating havoc on roadways through out the metro area and suburbs. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 22: Cyclists and pedestrians don't let the weather get in the way of getting outside along the Boulder Creek path in Boulder, Coloardo on February 22, 2015. The weekend long snowstorm continues to drop more snow and cold temperatures and creating havoc on roadways through out the metro area and suburbs. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 22: Daniel Sharpe, a truck driver for Offen Petroleum, right, gets help from Graham Fowler, a ranger for Boulder County Parks and Open Space, left, after his semi-truck got jack-knifed near the mouth of Boulder Canyon in Boulder, Colorado on February 22, 2015. Sharpe had pulled over to put on chains before heading up the treacherous canyon but got stuck in the deep snow on the side of the road. The weekend long snowstorm continues to drop more snow and cold temperatures and creating havoc on roadways through out the metro area and suburbs. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - FEBRUARY 21: Snow begins to fall and starts to accumulate at Cheesman Park in Denver. Snow fell overnight in the metro area with much larger amounts expected later Saturday afternoon overnight in to Sunday. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
BOULDER, CO - FEBRUARY 22: Daniel Sharpe, a truck driver for Offen Petroleum, gets prepeared to put chains on his jack-knifed semi truck near the mouth of Boulder Canyon in Boulder, Colorado on February 22, 2015. He had pulled over to put on chains before heading up the treacherous canyon but got stuck in the deep snow on the side of the road. The weekend long snowstorm continues to drop more snow and cold temperatures and creating havoc on roadways through out the metro area and suburbs. (Photo By Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 19: Snow is blown up by the landing of Marine One prior to the departure of U.S. President Barack Obama February 19, 2015 at the White House in Washington, DC. President Obama was travelling to Chicago to announce the Pullman National Monument, as well as Browns National Monument in Colorado and Honouliuli National Monument in Hawaii. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
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“The family is lucky to have had moderate temperatures and our ability to use aircraft to locate them,” Sheriff Bill Masters said in a statement.

“But people need to remember that electronic GPS systems are not always the best guide. At this time of year especially, roads like these are not always passable,” he added.

The sheriff also stressed the importance of having warm clothing, as well as extra food and water, stocked in one’s vehicle in case of emergencies.

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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