Saturday, December 29, 2012

Elderly couple's 10-minute drive for Christmas Eve dinner became 400-mile journey

An elderly California couple who left for what should have been a 10-minute drive to their daughter's house for Christmas Eve dinner actually drove 400 miles north and ended up in Oregon.

The daughter told police her 85-year-old stepfather picked up his 83-year-old wife from a local care facility for a short drive to the Redding, CA, home, but they never showed up for the 6:30 pm Christmas Eve dinner. The daughter reported the couple missing and possibly endangered, state police said.

On Christmas night, Oregon State Police troopers found the elderly couple on the side of Interstate 5 after their car ran out of gas. State police Sgt. Craig Ball responded to the report of the car stalled in the right lane of I-5 around 11:45 pm When Ball arrived, someone had pushed the car onto the right shoulder. The couple appeared confused, and further checking by police linked the couple to the missing persons report in California.

"We believe they were dehydrated - they had been driving for 12 hours (with) no food, no sleep, no water," Ball said. "We're unsure how they made it this far and until they can tell us it's a mystery." The couple was taken by ambulance to Salem Hospital for a medical evaluation. They were treated and released on Tuesday before being picked up by relatives.

With short news video.

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