On Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at about 6:44 a.m., The Eaton County Sheriff’s Office and the Michigan State Police responded to the area of Old Saginaw and Fees Road in Oneida Township to assist a stranded motorist.
A forty two year old Mulliken woman got her blazer stuck traveling westbound on Saginaw Hwy. near Fees Road. She was not able to get phone service initially and started walking westbound. She was not dressed for the elements, and it was still snowing hard with a wind chill below zero. She described getting very cold, falling in the snow, and at times crawling.
Fortunately she obtained enough phone signal to place a 911 call. Eaton County Central Dispatch stayed on the phone with her and continued to encourage her to keep moving. She had been out there for almost two hours, and it was apparent that first responders needed to get to her as quickly as possible.
It did not take long for responding officers to realize the roads were not passible with the patrol cars. A Trooper located a civilian plowing in the area who was willing to help and started plowing westbound on Saginaw. A Deputy located a Lawnscapes Lawn Care plow truck working in the area of M-43 and Benton who was willing to help and started plowing southbound on Benton from M-43 and then eastbound on Saginaw. Grand Ledge Fire and EMS responded assist in the search. The Eaton County Road Commission was in the area and started plowing coming in from the west.
The motorist was located on Saginaw about 1/10 of a mile east of Benton Road. She was placed into the back seat of a patrol car until Grand Ledge EMS could get to her. She was having trouble feeling her extremities. She was transported by Grand Ledge EMS to a local hospital and treated for the beginning stages of frost bite.
The combined efforts between the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office, Michigan State Police, Grand Ledge Fire and EMS, Eaton County Central Dispatch, Eaton County Road Commission, along with some civilian heroes resulted in a successful rescue of someone who was truly in need of immediate help. This is also an excellent opportunity to remind people when they are traveling to carry weather appropriate clothing and blankets in their vehicles this time year.
The motorist described getting her vehicle stuck in a drift that was up to the hood of her blazer. She was determined to get home and opted to leave her vehicle. It was estimated she was exposed to the weather for almost two hours and had it not been for getting a phone signal to place a 911 call, she may not have made it. Nobody ever expects to be in this position. The preparations and supplies you place in your vehicle can truly be the difference between life and death especially in inclement weather.