Photo: April Carrea

4 missing near Mt. Hood saved by snowmobilers

Photo: April Carrea
Photo: April Carrea

Government Camp, Ore. — (KGW) Jose Correa, 20, his fiancée Ally Baluta, 18, and his little brothers age two and five, found themselves stranded in the snow near Mount Hood Saturday night.

To get the help they needed they had to walk in waist deep snow. It’s a situation that could have been a lot worse if the timing was just a little off.

Saturday started out pretty normal for the foursome.

“We were going up to play in the snow,” said Correa.

But a fun outing to go sledding in the snow near Timothy Lake quickly took a bad turn when the drivetrain in Correa’s truck broke down, stranding them.

“We didn’t have front wheel drive on our 4X4 so we only had rear wheel drive. So we got stuck and couldn’t get out,” he said.

Correa said he tried to fix it, but nothing worked and they decided to spend the night.

“I was trying to stay calm,” his fiancee Baluta said. “He was reassuring me that everything was going to be alright. I obviously had my moments. My anxiety kicked in and I was like thinking the worst.”

It was cold, their cell phones didn’t work, and the snow outside was deep.
“Like up to my belly,” said Correa.

Fortunately the kids didn’t know the danger they faced, he said.

“We left the truck running all night. We were warm. We had food. We had drinks. We were all good,” Correa said.
About 1 p.m. Sunday, Correa made a decision for the group to go out in search of help. After only about five minutes of walking in waist-deep snow, the four ran into a group of snowmobilers.

“They seemed pretty shocked to see people up there,” said Correa.

Eventually those snowmobilers gave Correa, Baluta and the two little ones a ride.

“They took us two miles down the road where my dad was already on his way to get us,” he said.

According to Correa, his dad was given a heads up from a friend who said he had an idea of where Correa may have gone.

“I’m really grateful,” Correa said.

Fiancee Baluta said she feels blessed and thankful because she’s pregnant.

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