Dickinson family rescued from NM snowdrift


by Tiffany Craig/KHOU 11 News


Posted on December 22, 2011 at 8:16 PM

Updated Thursday, Dec 22 at 8:21 PM

RATON, NEW MEXICO- A family from Dickinson is safe and sound after driving into a blizzard on the way to their ski vacation.

David Higgins, his wife Yvonne, and their 5-year old daughter Hannah, were about thirty miles outside Clayton when Higgins said he couldn’t see anything out of the front windshield.

“It was a white out,” he said. “We were going up an incline and a curve in the road uphill, and the vehicle stopped. We were just sliding on the ice.”

The GMC Yukon would end up stranded on the side of U.S. Highway 412.

“We went ahead and made the 911 call to let them know that we were at a certain mile marker and we were caught in this blizzard,” Higgins said.

Then, the waiting started.

Luckily, the SUV was packed with ski gear, snacks and plenty of water.

“You would sleep, you’d eat, play games, watch movies and pray,” Higgins said. “You know that’s pretty much what we did.”

Back home in Dickinson, the family’s former babysitter stared at a rescue picture in amazement.

“Oh my God, that’s scary,” said Kassie Long. “I feel bad for them. I don’t think I could go through that.”

After nearly two days, the Yukon’s battery was dead and it was getting hard to breathe.

Then, in the wee hours of Wednesday morning, a rescuer tapped on the window.

“We looked at ‘em and said, we’re here, we’re here, help us,” he said.

One by one, the trio was pulled to safety.

All three were checked out at Miners Colfax Medical Center in Raton, New Mexico.  Yvonne Higgins has pneumonia and has to stay in the hospital for a few more days.