(Riverton) – The Fremont County Sheriffs Office conducted a successful Search and Rescue mission Monday afternoon in the Gas Hills area south of Moneta after a man using a navigational device turned onto a dirt road and became stuck a short time later.
Sheriff’s Captain Ryan Lee said 31-year- old Robexy Figueroa, of Miami, Florida, was attempting to drive from Casper to the Riverton area with the aid of a navigational device. The instrument informed Figueroa to turn down the Gas Hills Road from Highway 20-26 just west of Moneta, and he followed the advice.
The Gas Hills Road has no winter maintenance from Highway 20-26 to its intersection with Highway 136. The dirt road is usually drifted shut with snow in several places during the winter months.
Figueroa’s Honda car became stuck in a large snow drift and was disabled, Ryan said. After attempting to dig the vehicle out for several hours Figueroa left his vehicle and began walking in an attempt to find help. The Florida man walked about 8 miles through blowing and drifting snow until he was able to locate an oil field location that provided both shelter and a telephone. He contacted the Sheriffs Office requesting help.
The Riverton Search and Rescue Division reached he man with the use of snow machines around 5:00 Monday afternoon. He was brought out of the area and was given a ride to Riverton. The man was not injured.
The previous three incidents of motorists becoming stuck in the Gas Hills area occurred on the Ore Road, which runs North of Jeffrey City to the Gas Hills Uranium Mining District. In each instance, a motorist seeking a short cut around Riverton attempted to cross on the dirt county road, only to become stuck in snowdrifts. All motorists have been rescued without incident this winter.