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Elderly Texas Couple Lucky To Be Alive After A Harrowing Week In Southern Utah Outback

National Parks Service
A southern Utah dirt road.

An elderly couple visiting from Texas left their hotel room in Kanab on Monday October 2 on what they hoped would be a day trip to see Lake Powell.  Nearly a week later a rancher, checking his cattle spotted the 78-year-old woman laying beside a dirt road, severely dehydrated and confused. 

Based on information provided by the woman, authorities, with the help of a medical helicopter were able to locate the rental car and then her 76-year-old husband, clinging to life.  The couple’s critical mistake: trusting the advise of a GPS travel aid.  Kane County Deputy Alan Alldredge:

"GPSs are a great, great tool," said Kane County Deputy Alan Alldredg, "they have their limitations in rural Utah where it tries to identify these backwoods, dirt roads for people to use… and so it’s… an all-year occurrence for us—pulling people out of the mud, going and rescuing people who have gone where they shouldn’t have gone, but were following their GPS.”

The man remains in a St. George hospital.  The woman was hospitalized in Kanab for one night before joining her husband in St. George.