Arizona authorities reported that a Texas woman, 24, spent five whole days stranded the scorching heat of a remote deserted area in northern Arizona prior to being rescued on Friday.

Car Breakdown and Situation

The Department of Public Safety in the state said that Amber Vanhecke had been driving around the southern rim in one of the nation’s national parks, the Grand Canyon, prior to her car running out of gasoline.

She wasn’t able to get a signal on her cell phone but later walked 7 miles to one location where she had access to a phone signal to call the police.

DPS said that the phonecall was dropped and they couldn’t zero in to her location, however deputies in Coconino County’s Sheriff Office as well as the troopers from DPS’s Air Rescue Unit gathered their knowledge about the area in order to find out where the car may be. A DPS sky unit helicopter spotted it later on.


Vanhecke placed as many white rocks as possible on the surrounding ground and spelled out “HELP” in huge letters, as well as leaving notes on her car detailing the direction she had headed to try to find mobile phone signal.

The helicopter then flew towards the direction mentioned and members of the crew saw her on the street, frantically waiving in order to grab their attention.

Vanhecke had been treated on scene for sun exposure, and was later flown to a nearby trauma center in the city of Flagstaff.

Helicopter crew and trooper paramedic Edgar Bissonette had been first on the ground to greet the woman.

He said to KPHO-TV, “Hi, did you call?” And she gave me a real big bear hug.”

“She was smart and prepared. She had food and water in her vehicle for the trip. Even though she was down to her last bit of water, it kept her going. When she left the vehicle, she left notes so we knew where to find her. She did everything right.”

Vanhecke returned to her home state of Texas, says KPHO.