RENO, Nevada (AP) — A mother and her youngest child were discharged Wednesday from a Nevada hospital a day after being rescued with four other group members who were stranded for two days in a bitter cold mountain wilderness when their Jeep rolled over.
The father of the girl and three other young members of the couple’s families were also doing “remarkably well” but will remain a bit longer for observation at the hospital in Lovelock, Dr. Douglas Vacek said.
Some suffered from slight exposure and dehydration, but none had frostbite.
“We were obviously braced for much worse considering the cold,” the doctor said.
James Glanton was credited with keeping alive his girlfriend, Christina McIntee, their two children and a niece and a nephew of McIntee in temperatures that dropped to 16 below zero on Monday. The children range in age from 3 to 10.
The 34-year-old mine worker and hunter built a fire just minutes after the Jeep rolled down a snowy embankment on Sunday and kept the flames going until rescuers found them on Tuesday, Vacek said.
“I think that really prevented any serious medical problems,” said Vacek, who also praised the group for staying together.
With the engine of Jeep disabled, Glanton removed the spare tire and used it as a fire ring to burn wood and brush to keep the adults and children warm, Pershing County Sheriff Richard Machado said.
“They placed rocks inside the tire and used the rocks to keep the children warm at night,” he said.
Vacek said the group had water and some food but no blankets, However, they were dressed in heavy winter clothing for what had been planned as an excursion to play in the snow in the mountains about 100 miles northeast of Reno.
Chloe Glanton left Pershing General Hospital with her mother while James Glanton, Evan Glanton, Shelby Fitzpatrick and Tate McIntee remained under care.
About 200 people had searched by land and air after the group failed to return from the mountains.
Chris Montes, a longtime friend of James Glanton who hunts in the area, was among the volunteers who found the Jeep.
“I think everybody was thinking the worst for a little bit,” Montes said. “But it’s a small tight-knit community and everybody in town was out there looking for them.
“They just said that they knew somebody was going to find them,” he said.
Rindels reported from Las Vegas. Associated Press reporter Haven Daley contributed to this report from Lovelock, Nevada.