Man walks to safety to rescue Idaho family after night in the mountains

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by Justin Corr

KREM.com

Posted on December 5, 2011 at 7:44 AM

BOISE -- It was a nightmarish morning for a family in Boise as six of their loved-ones went missing. This story has a happy ending though.

"We've been up all night," said Brian Pollard.

As of noon on Sunday, Pollard wasn't sure where his daughter Megan was, or if she was safe.

Brian's brother-in-law, Justin Kaserman, took his family, which included another adult, three kids and Megan into the mountains on Saturday to find a Christmas tree. They didn't come back that night.

"We have somebody out on the mountain somewhere that can't get back here," said Pollard.

Brian wasn't sure exactly where they were headed. So Idaho State Police, Elmore County Deputies, friends and family were searching in a huge area that stretched from Prairie to Bogus Basin. That is, until the call came.

Sitting in the family's office, Michelle Pollard, Megan's mom, picked up the phone.

"Where are you?" asked Michelle. "You are in Idaho City at the Ranger Station? Okay. Oh, thank God!"

"Justin's on the phone!" yelled Brian to the room of assembled family.

Justin had taken a wrong turn. When he tried to turn around, the truck got stuck.

"You okay?" asked Brian into the phone.

"Cold, but yeah," replied Justin.

"Okay, man? Everybody else okay?" asked Brian.

"Yeah," replied Justin. "The truck is high-centered. We're going to need a winch to get it out."

"Not a problem," laughed Brian. "Don't worry about the truck."

"Kids are all fine, Lisa's fine," said Justin.

Justin had left everyone safe at the truck and walked out Sunday morning, getting to the highway around noon.

"We're really relieved," said Brian. "You'd never want to be in that situation. So we had faith that Justin was going to be able to pull it off. We'll have to hear from him what it was like, spending the night on the mountain."

The family search parties turned into rescue parties to pick up Justin in Idaho City and the other five from the truck on Swan Home Road.

"Everybody's going to get back here tonight and get warmed up," said Brian.

Those six weren't expecting to spend the night, but were prepared to. They were prepared and had coats, gloves, boots and some food.

Other family we talked to said it should serve as a lesson to anyone who goes into the mountains this winter to be prepared for an emergency with appropriate clothing and supplies.

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