GPS sends woman down dirt road in snow storm, several stranded - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

GPS sends woman down dirt road in snow storm, several stranded

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    Local news and information for Iowa City, Coralville, North Liberty, Solon, Tiffin, Swisher, Hills, Lone Tree, Oxford, University Heights, Shueyville and all of Johnson County and the surrounding area.More >>
JOHNSON COUNTY (KWWL) - A woman just days from her due date was driving with her daughter in a snow storm when she got stuck. Two men tried to help and also got stuck. That's when they called 911.

"The deputies don't get to stop and that's why we try to equip them with vehicles that they can get around in pretty good because there's always going to be calls," said Lonny Pulkrabek, Johnson County Sheriff.

The woman told deputies she was trying to get to the local animal shelter and her GPS told her to drive down 540th St road, which is a Level B road. It's dirt in summer and doesn't get plowed in winter.

The sheriff says his office will not use Level B roads unless they absolutely have to and they won't drive on them in winter. 

"There's not many vehicles that would be able to go down that road," said Pulkrabek.

So deputies tried to walk to the woman but sunk in the snow. They had to get the Johnson County Sheriff's Office snowmobile which has been around for years, but is rarely used for rescues.

"It's something you have to keep in your fleet because of things like this popping up," said Pulkrabek.

They're all trained -- but hope they rarely have to use the snowmobile.

"When we have a snowstorm like that people should just batten down their hatches and stay inside and stay home," said Pulkrabek.

The Johnson County Sheriff's Office has had a snowmobile for more than 30 years. The current one is about eight years old.

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