BY IRVING DEJOHN / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Hat tip: Monica McFadden
The Nevada family that survived in sub-zero temperatures for two days broke its silence to thank the rescuers that worked around the clock to save them.
James Glanton, his girlfriend Christina McIntee and the four missing kids released a statement late Wednesday night, praising the bravery of a long list of federal and local responders.
“The Glanton-McIntee and Schlag-Fitzpatrick families would like to thank the valiant search and rescue efforts,” the family wrote in the one-page statement, obtained by the Reno Gazette Journal.
The family of six that went missing in the Seven Troughs mountain range, (clockwise from top left) James Glanton, 34, Christina McIntee, 25, Tate McIntee, 3 Chloe Glanton, 3 Shelby Fitzpatrick, 10, and Evan Glanton, 4.
The family of six went missing Sunday after its Jeep swerved off the road, hopped an embankment and landed upside down in the remote Seven Troughs mountain range.
Roughly 200 people joined the frantic land and air search after the family went to “play in the snow” 20 miles away from their Lovelock home.
The Glanton family Jeep swerved, jumped over an embankment and crashed into a valley in the Seven Troughs mountain range. The family spent two days stranded with the Jeep, desperately trying to stay warm as the temperature dipped to minus 21.
Investigators knew they were racing against the clock to find the family — at night, the temperature dipped to minus 15. They were found safe Tuesday, to the jubilation of local officals.
“It’s a miracle. It really is,” said Richard Machado, the Pershing County sheriff.
As search and rescue tirelessly searched for the family — pinpointing their location using cellphone signals and covering 700 miles each day — Glanton fashioned a fire, burned a spare tire and rationed food to keep his girlfriend, two children, niece and nephew alive.
Dr. Douglas Vacek, with Pershing General Hospital, said that the Christina McIntee and youngest Chloe, 3, who were released from the hospital are in 'perfect condition.' The remaining four are being monitored, but are doing 'remarkably well.'
They had food and water, but the children were hungry by the time they were found.
Dr. Doug Vacek, with Pershing General Hospital, said that it was “absolutely amazing” that none of the six caught frostbite and doesn’t expect them to experience any long-term health effects from being exposed to sub-zero temperatures.
Chris Montes, of Lovelock, one of the rescuers who found the Glanton family.
Authorities credited their survival with Glanton’s incredible resourcefulness following the car accident. The key to them remaining alive was that they didn’t wander into the wilderness to look for help, officials said.
“They stayed together and that was the key that allowed them to live through this experience. You don’t see that that often in search and rescue,” said Paul Burke, search-and-rescue coordinator for the state. “They did some pretty inventive things, heating up rocks and things. Staying together, that was a big deal.”
The Nevada town, including Gov. Brian Sandoval, expressed jubilation once the missing family of six was discovered. A relative hugs Chris Montes as the family is brought to Pershing General Hospital.
McIntee and her youngest daughter Chloe Ganton, 3, were released from the hospital on Wednesday.
Vacek told CNN that, amazingly, their health was “perfect.”
Glanton, his son Evan, 4, his niece Shelby Fitzpatrick, 10, and nephew Tate McIntee, 3, remain hospitalized, but don’t have serious injuries.
Charles Sparke, Pershing County director of emergency management points in the direction of the mountian range where a family spent two nights in 15 degree weather after their Jeep, being towed in this photograph, rolled over during an outing in the Seven Troughs Range in Lovelock, Nev.
It is unclear when the remaining four relatives will be released.
“Our families are asking for privacy as we heal and recover from this ordeal,” said the letter, signed by each family member. “We are truly appreciative of the care and love from our community and the nation.”