Bulletin Staff Report

A Deschutes County search and rescue deputy helped a Bend family that got stuck in the snow during a Christmas tree hunt near East Lake Sunday afternoon.

Soren Smith, 24, called 911 just after 10 p.m. Sunday to report his family was stuck in their 4-wheel-drive pickup in about 18 inches of snow. Smith and his three passengers, including 17- and 13-year-old children, had left home at 3:30 p.m. and got stuck at 7:45. They had fuel for the truck along with warm clothing and water, but no food or shovels to help free the vehicle.

A Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office search and rescue deputy towed a tracked all-terrain vehicle as far as possible, then drove the ATV the remaining 4 miles to the stuck vehicle, arriving at the family’s location just after midnight. The family members and their dog were transported back to the patrol pickup and then given a ride to their residence.