The Morrow County Sheriff’s Office rescued two Heppner men after their pickup truck got stuck in the snow on Shaw Grade Road.
According to a news release from MCSO, Philip Mullins called 911 about 8 p.m. Thursday to report that he and Kim Martz were stuck six or seven miles up the southern Morrow County road. Spotty cellphone service meant the dispatcher was able to get very little information from Mullins, but dispatch staff contacted family members and discovered the men had likely been headed to the lookout at Chicken Springs.
A search and rescue mission was mobilized and a command post was set up in the area of Willow Creek Road and Shaw Grade Road. Sgt. Nathen Braun and Sgt. Todd Siex searched on snow machines, Lt. Terry Harper assisted and Heppner Ambulance was put on standby.
At 10:21 p.m. Mullins was again able to connect with dispatch and communicated that he and Martz did not have any food or water left but had been able to stay warm in the truck.
They were located by Braun and Siex at few minutes before midnight, but the waist-deep snow meant it was not safe to bring them out on the snow machines. Heppner resident Thomas Wolff arrived at 1:18 a.m. with a tracked snow UTV to assist, and the rescuers and rescued men arrived at the command post about 3 a.m. They were driven back to their residences after it was determined they did not need medical treatment.
“This was a great team effort by all involved,” Undersheriff John Bowles wrote in a statement. “We would like to thank Morrow County Dispatch, Sgt. Braun and Sgt. Siex for a job well done. Also thank you to Thomas Wolff for assisting with his tracked snow UTV. Without his assistance this mission would have taken a lot longer.”