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Accidents and Crashes

Rescuers also rescued after 3 vehicles, 7 people get stuck in snow on Cascade Lakes Hwy.

Two Chevy Suburbans (and a Ford F-150 pickup) got stuck on snowy Cascade Lakes Highway Sunday night
Deschutes County Sheriff's Office
Two Chevy Suburbans (and a Ford F-150 pickup) got stuck on snowy Cascade Lakes Highway Sunday night

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A La Pine man’s attempt to rescue his nephew whose vehicle got stuck in the snow on the Cascade Lakes Highway west of Bend got him stuck as well Sunday night. In he end, Deschutes County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue ended up rescuing seven people from three vehicles.

Dispatchers with 911 got a call around 10 p.m. from a La Pine resident who said he’d gotten his vehicle stuck in the snow while trying to rescue his nephew, who also was stuck, said Deputy Kyle Joye, assistant special services coordinator with the sheriff’s office.

The man said his nephew, a 39-year-old Eugene resident, had planned on taking state Highway 372 over to state Highway 58, using a shortcut to Eugene, Joye said.

After finding snowmobiles traveling the highway and getting word from riders that the highway was closed, the motorist tried to turn around and became stuck in the snow, as did his uncle.

During the initial call, the La Pine man called a friend with a tow truck and declined any Search and Rescue assistance, Joye said.

Around 1 a.m., he again called 911, reporting his friend, who was supposed to bring a tow truck, instead drove up in a Chevy Suburban – and also got stuck in the snow. He then asked for SAR to recover the people on scene.

Using the call as a locating tool, SAR was able to confirm the location of milepost 53 on Highway 372. All three vehicles were within a few 100 yards of each other, and all the occupants were reported safe and warm in the vehicles.

Two SAR volunteers and Special Services deputy responded to assist, Joye said. The SAR members went most of the way in a 4x4 pickup, then deployed the tracked DCSO SAR ARGO ATV, along with a tracked Polaris Range ATV, and got to the stranded motorists around 4:30 a.m.

Joey said the seven occupants were given a ride back to the intersection of Forest Service roads 42 and 43, where they were reunited with their family. All the sheriff’s office personnel were back at headquarters by about 7 a.m.

Central Oregon / Deschutes County / News / Top Stories

Barney Lerten

Barney is the digital content director for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Barney here.



  1. Dumb and dumber. Its not a state highway but that really does not matter. Every year drivers get stuck up there doing the same dumb thing. Like driving on snowmobile tracks is not a clue! And its not posted closed by the USFS at the 40 or 42 junction but these people would likely ignore that anyway.

  2. Surprised they didn’t call another 5 or 6 people to get them out first! Come on man! I’m stuck in my Suburban bring your Suburban and get me out!

  3. I haven’t been out on the Cascade Lakes highway during winter for many years. But if memory serves, wasn’t there a gate that was closed across the highway during winter out by the turn off to Mt Bachelor? And didn’t they use to plow the highway out to that point?

    1. I’m absolutely sure where they were. but if they were trying to cut over to Hwy 58, there is a gate going north on the cascade lakes hwy but not south at the 42 junction. You can go south towards Davis lake and the Crescent cut off. That’s where I
      m guessing they got stuck.

      1. Isn’t the west part of 42 also closed in winter? That’s what Tripcheck says.

        He could have just drove down to Crescent and taken the cutoff over to 58. I just did that a few weeks ago.

  4. Gosh, if only there was some sort of traction aid they could have installed on their tires to get themselves out of this predicament on their own…

  5. Good grief… Please tell me that these vehicles weren’t all four wheel drives.
    If they were, that’s truly pathetic that they managed to get all three of them stuck,
    and these people have no business being off road, especially during the winter…
    Looking at the picture I can’t believe that the vehicles in the picture were actually stuck.
    My guess is that there were seven people that were totally clueless and can’t drive in the snow.

    1. There’s four wheel drive and there’s four wheel drive. I have an AWD Saturn Vue, which is graat in a couple inches of snow or non-black ice. I have good studless snow tires. But, if I get into deeper and/or wet snow, my rig is not much better than the Crown Vic that I sold last Summer haha If you put on big knobby tires and jack up a rig a few inches, then you might get through really bad stuff.

      1. There is definitely a difference between the two, and there are quite a few four wheel drives that aren’t true four wheel drive because only one wheel on each axle spins.
        You need to have a locked differential or at least a limited slip differential to
        work really good.

        I have a 2015 GMC four wheel drive pickup that was special ordered with limited slip differentials in the front and rear, and I have snow rated tires that are a couple sizes bigger than stock, and a 2 inch lift. It works great and it isn’t hard to get in and out of.
        I’ve had other four wheel drive pickups that had bigger tires and taller lifts, and they are a pain in the butt to get in and out of, especially now that I’m getting older…

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