Snowmobile Disaster Leaves Woman Dead, Son Frostbitten

They were stranded in Wyoming mountains for 3 days
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jan 19, 2016 7:00 PM CST
Snowmobile Disaster Leaves Woman Dead, Son Frostbitten
Stock photo   (Shutterstock)

Sheriff's officials found a woman dead of exposure and her teenage son suffering from frostbite Tuesday, ending a three-day search for a family of three that went missing amid a series of mishaps while snowmobiling in Wyoming's Medicine Bow Mountains. Searchers had found the father in good condition Monday after he went for help and became separated from the other two. The couple's 18-year-old son was being treated at a Colorado hospital and was in stable condition, Albany County Undersheriff Robert DeBree says. Officials weren't identifying the Cheyenne family. Both parents were 46.

Multiple problems, including harsh weather and malfunctioning machines, built into a disaster that played out over three days and nights. Heavy snow and strong winds slammed the southeast Wyoming mountains Saturday night. That was the last thing the Cheyenne family needed after one of their three snowmobiles broke down during an outing in the Medicine Bows. The family built a fire and spent Saturday night in a snow cave, DeBree says. Attempts by the father to find help Sunday failed when another snowmobile got stuck in ice and the handlebars of the third broke off, stranding him away from the others. Searchers found him Monday after he spent a second night in the mountains in a snow cave. (Read more snowmobile stories.)

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