A family of four stranded in deep snow in the mountains north of Lake Tahoe were lucky that a passing fire truck stopped and came to their rescue.
During the last weekend of March, Paul and Chris Harper and their two children, a 10-year and a 4-year-old, were on their way to check out the cinder cones in Lassen Volcanic National Park, CA.
“We turned to Forest Route 32 N 21 (near junction of highways 89 and 44) and started driving on a small road. Little by little, there was more snow on the ground. But, we figured since our car was an all-wheel drive, we could make it. But as we drove into the mountains, the snow got thicker. We started to hesitate going further and all of the sudden, we got stuck!”
– Chris Harper told South Tahoe Now
With no cell signal in the area, the couple spent four hours trying to dig their car out, to no avail. As nightfall was approaching, the idea of spending the night in their car didn’t sound appealing, so Paul walked 45-minutes to the nearest road to flag down assistance. When NINE cars ignored his waves for help, driving right on by, he set off walking eleven miles to the nearest service station. That was when a fire department vehicle stopped for him.
Leo Gebhardt and Blake Sturdivan were off duty and driving to a training session. They picked up Paul and took him immediately back to his stranded partner and young children.
“Blake and Leo were so kind to stop and pick Paul up. We were so happy to see them.”
– Chris Harper
The firefighters weren’t carrying any towing equipment, but managed to improvise and pulled the car out of the snow.
“We kept thinking about how awful the night could have been, had we missed Blake and Leo by one minute. Blake and Leo are truly angels and we will never forget them.”
– Chris Harper