ALBUQUERQUE (AP/KRQE) – Bernalillo County sheriff’s personnel located and rescued a man who ended up in the Rio Puerco river basin after getting disoriented while driving.
The Sheriff’s Department says the 78-year-old man called 911 late Tuesday to say he’d gotten lost and had ended up in a ravine where he couldn’t see any landmarks, such as the nearby Route 66 Casino.
Deputies drove around looking for the man but couldn’t find him until personnel tracked the man’s phone through a cellphone company and hiked to his location.
“He’s completely stuck. He can’t move nor can he see any landmarks. He couldn’t see mountains. He couldn’t see the freeway, the casino,” said Detective Kyle Hartsock.
They then formed a human chain to pull the man to the top of the ravine. He was evaluated by paramedics and transported to a hospital for evaluation.
“I pulled off on the side road and I’m stuck. I’m stuck between a lot of high hills,” the man told the 911 dispatcher.
“It can be a dangerous spot to go to. It’s not the first time we’ve been out there for someone who’s gotten stuck,” said Kyle Woods with Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department, who helped rescue the man.
“I was going straight out Central, and I was told to keep straight on Central, and I did until the road turned off, and I didn’t turn off,” the stranded driver explained to 911.
“It’s a road really to nowhere. When he tried to turn around, he just got way mixed up and got into a real bad situation,” Hartsock told KRQE News 13.
The man was checked out at a local hospital and found to be in good health after the experience.