A wife, stranded in the desert, was prepared to die next to her husband after he took a wrong turn and ended up stuck on a rock in the middle of a remote desert location.
Dianna Bedwell, 68, and her husband, Cecil “Paul” Knutson, 79, were traveling from a casino in Southern California to their son’s, Robert Acosta’s, home for a Mother’s Day dinner near Palm Springs, California, earlier this year when he took a wrong turn, apparently looking for a shortcut, the Press Enterprise reports. When he tried to turn around, their white Hyundai Sonata got stuck on a rock, leaving them lost and stranded in the desert alone in the mountains between San Diego and Riverside counties.
When his parents didn’t arrive as scheduled, Acosta reported them missing. Unfortunately, their car was sitting under a tree in such a remote location that the searchers, both on foot and in the air, were unable to find them.
The Fullerton couple, who were both retired bus drivers and diabetics, spent two weeks trying to survive in their vehicle with only rainwater, a butter cream pie, and eight pounds of oranges, which they were planning on taking to the dinner, to eat, according to ABC News. Although Knutson was able to use his walker and cane to get around outside of their vehicle, eventually, neither he nor Bedwell were able to walk.
After a week, Knutson passed away, with his body found draped over the running boards on the outside of their car. While an autopsy showed that he died from a heart attack, Dianna said he died peacefully.
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“He just fell asleep,” she said. “I thank God for that. There was no pain, no anger.”
Prior to his death, Dianna said she forgave her husband for making the wrong turn, and was okay if this was how their lives were to end.
“I told him, ‘Honey we all make mistakes. We all make wrong choices.’ That’s all that was,” Bedwell said Friday, July 10, while speaking at a memorial service at Ingold Funeral Chapel in Fontana. “We had 29 wonderful years together. If we make it out, fine. If we don’t make it out, fine.”
After Paul’s death, Dianna, a wife now stranded in the desert alone, was prepared to accept the fact that she also may not survive their ordeal. She spent another week in the vehicle, becoming weaker with each passing day. Then on May 24, a group of off-roaders found her and called the police. While she was severely dehydrated, she was alive. She was airlifted to a nearby hospital to receive treatment.
Paul, a Marine land mine demolition expert in the Korean War, was honored with a 21-gun salute and Taps at Riverside National Cemetery, where an urn with his ashes was buried.
[Photo via video screenshot]