A woman stranded for six days on a snowy dirt road in remote Northern California woods survived on yogurt, rationing one container a day, according to authorities in Lassen County.
Sheena Gullett, 52, of Little Valley, an unincorporated community in Lassen County, became separated from her companion after their truck stalled in the snow on a forest road off of Highway 44 on April 14, a report from the county Sheriff’s Office said. She rationed a six-pack of yogurt and ate snow to stay hydrated before officials located her on Wednesday.
Gullett and her friend Justin Lonich, 48, had been driving to Little Valley on dirt forest roads when they got stuck, according to the account. They spent one night in their vehicle before they woke up to discover the truck's battery was dead. They then set off to walk back to Highway 44.
Lonich told deputies that Gullett fell behind after the soles of her boots detached, and that he could not locate her when he turned around due to heavy snowfall. After seeking shelter at night and building a campfire to stay warm, officials said, he reached Highway 44 on April 17 and hitched a ride to nearby Susanville, where he reported Gullett missing.
Because Lonich was unfamiliar with the area where the vehicle was stuck, sheriff's officials, U.S. Forest Service personnel and the California Highway Patrol conducted daily searches on the ground and via helicopter but were hampered by poor weather.
They found Gullett on Wednesday in the truck. She told rescuers she had seen the helicopter, but because the vehicle was in a heavily wooded area, the rescuers could not see her.
"She was very emotional, but physically OK," Lt. Dave Woginrich of the Lassen County Sheriff's Office said in a report, adding that she was evaluated by medical personnel. "She related the same details as Justin did as to how they became separated. During the six days Sheena was stranded, she rationed a six-pack of yogurt, eating one per day. She did not have any water and had been eating snow."
Aidin Vaziri (he/him) is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: [email protected]
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