Travelers rescued

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A snow-bound grandfather and his two grandchildren were rescued Monday night in Abby Springs, a remote location between Magdalena and Alamo.

Magdalena Marshal Larry Cearley and local volunteers conducted the search and were able to locate the grandfather, Jack Langley, of Glenco, Texas, his 10-year-old granddaughter Ashley and 17-year-old grandson Josh, who were trapped seven miles off N.M. 169 on Forest Road 123.

It was a happy ending to what could have been a tragic story.

"When we got there, the kids were having a snowball fight," said Cearley.

According to Cearley, he received a call at 4:15 p.m. from Langley's wife, Hazel, saying she had been in phone contact with her husband, who reported the three had been stuck in snow since 3 p.m.

Langley and the children were en route to the family cabin in Abby Springs when his front-wheel drive Chevrolet pickup truck. Cearley said Langley attempted to turn around when the snow got too deep and the vehicle slid off the roadway, got stuck in a snow drift and was unable to move.

Cearly said about 10 inches of snow had fallen in the area by the time the search party arrived about 6 p.m. Assisting in the rescue were local rancher Clint Spurgeon, Magdalena resident Simon Armijo, Bureau of Land Management Ranger Marc Wheeler and Forest Service Ranger Javier Valles.

Cearley said the rescue took about 90 minutes, and no one showed any signs of hypothermia or frostbite.

After the vehicle was freed, Cearley said the family traveled to Socorro where they spent the night before returning to Texas.

"I commend the efforts of all the people involved in the rescue. They did a great job," Cearley said.


-- Email the author at lalvarado@dchieftain.com.