Family survives being trapped in snowstorm

Nov. 9, 2009 at 12:16 PM

SALEM, Ore., Nov. 9 (UPI) -- Authorities in Marion County, Ore., said a family of eight survived two nights in a van amid a heavy snowstorm that dropped more than 30 inches of snow.

Lt. Sheila Lorance, spokeswoman for the Marion County Sheriff's Office, said Mark Shaver and his seven kids were camping near Breitenbush Lake when last week's storm began depositing snow on the area, The (Portland) Oregonian reported Sunday.

Among Shaver's children were a 3-year-old and a 5-year-old.

While Shaver attempted to get his family out of the area in his van, the mounting snow levels prevented the vehicle from leaving the camping area. To make matters worse, Shaver did not have a cell phone to call for help.

Trapped at the campsite, Shaver and his children used their remaining camping supplies to survive two nights until they were located Sunday by the sheriff's office.

"They had warm clothes," Lorance said of the family members, who were unharmed. "They had food and shelter. They did some of the right things."

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