California was host to some rare snow this week. Although almost 200 stranded people were rescued, the weather did contribute to two deaths that have been reported so far.
In the San Bernardino Mountains, near Crestline, California, a wreck blocked the road, keeping motorists from moving forward during the fall of snow. As a result, cars slowly became stuck as the snow piled up on top of their vehicles and around their wheels.
The snow trapped nearly 150 motorists in that situation, but they weren’t the only ones. At another location in the San Bernardino Mountains, the snow managed to trap another 25 motorists.
One of the trapped motorists told KABC, “I tried to come around the corner… I didn’t have the (snow) chains, so I hit the brakes and I went and veered off toward the other side.”
The San Bernardino County Fire Department began to use snow cats on Tuesday night in order to start their rescue. All motorists stuck in the snow in and around the San Bernardino Mountains were rescued without incident and transported to a local church.
Hwy 138 (update): Count Fire Crews use Snow-Cats to rescue stranded motorists pic.twitter.com/pH6iKQT4K7
— SB County Fire (@SBCOUNTYFIRE) December 31, 2014
Not everyone was quite so lucky.
Storm and snow related incidents in California led to the deaths of two people, and possibly a third.
On Wednesday at around 2:15 a.m., a tree fell on the corner of a home in the Northern California City of Redding. It went through the roof and landed on an upstairs bed where a woman, her husband, and their 3-year-old daughter were sleeping. The woman was killed in her sleep and her family remained pinned until they were finally rescued by authorities.
Deputy Fire Chief Gerry Gray, of Redding, attributed the woman’s death to the windy weather from the snow storm.
Over in the waters of Catalina Island, in Southern California, a harbor officer was killed as a result of snow and stormy weather.
Los Angeles County Assistant Chief Coroner Ed Winter told KTLA, “There were boats that had broken loose from their moorings. He evidently got swept overboard and was pinned between the boat and rocks.”
A crowd of nearly 40 people attempted to help the harbor officer, but he was unable to be rescued.
A second body was found in Avalon Harbor as well, but Coroner Winter was unable to attribute the man’s death to the snow or stormy weather.
The names of the two harbor victims have not been released as of yet.
[Image courtesy of ABC7]