Twin Falls woman talks after spending night in stranded van on mountain

Hunters bought food and water for the duo since they did not have any in their vehicle. (Source: Pernecia Heinemann)
Hunters bought food and water for the duo since they did not have any in their vehicle. (Source: Pernecia Heinemann)(KMVT)
Published: Dec. 2, 2019 at 5:56 PM MST
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One week ago a Twin Falls woman and her 83-year-old grandmother were stranded during a Sunday afternoon drive near the City of Rocks National Reserve.

Pernecia Ann Heinemann, said she started her adventure with her grandmother, also named Pernecia Heinemann, at about 1 p.m. on the Sunday before Thanksgiving. By 4 p.m. They made their way further up in the mountains, but as they kept driving, the roads kept getting worse and worse.

"... I was beginning to panic because I felt like for sure I had killed myself and my grandmother," Heinemann tells KMVT, adding, "and just the weight of that was overwhelming."

Heinemann and her grandmother eventually turned back around on the Oakley side of the mountain. They made their way to a wooded area, but not before Heinemann called her pastor telling him about her ordeal.

By 6 o'clock, they realized they were unable to leave after their vehicle became stuck in the snow. They did not have any snow tires, and by then, they had already lost cell phone service. They also did not have food, blankets, winter shoes or coats with them.

So, Heinemann and her grandmother began to pray in the car.

She said they both knew it wasn't smart to leave because it would have been even more life-threatening.

Every now and then, they would turn the car on for heat, but be cautious as they needed to preserve gas for the rest of the night.

Then, a little after midnight, the miracle happened when Heinemann suddenly looked up in her rear-view mirror and saw hunters approaching them.

The hunters brought food and water since they did not have any in their vehicle. Then the hunters left to get help because neither had winter gear.

Heinemann's pastor, along with three church members, were also out looking for them, in addition to Cassia County Sheriff's Office and Mini-Cassia Search and Rescue.

"It's really comforting to know who you spend time with and what they are willing to do to literally bring you home," Heinemann said.

By Monday afternoon at around 12:09 p.m., Heinemann and her grandmother were found safe at the top of Almo Creek in the Logger Springs area in their Dodge minivan.

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