What to keep in your car to help in an emergency

BLEWETT PASS — A Spokane Valley woman was trapped in her car on Blewett Pass for almost five days, but her story has a happy ending. 

Lynnell McFarland was traveling from Ellensburg to her home when she made a wrong turn and ended up on the pass. 

“Blewett Pass is treacherous at times, and it’s deceitful in that you can be on, say, wet ground or wet asphalt or dry asphalt in some places and then it’s got little microclimate places where it’ll freeze,” said Phil Mosher, Chelan County Fire District #6 Chief. 

McFarland’s car rolled off the road and ended across a ravine. She was trapped with no water or food and suffered from hypothermia. 

The situation was looking grim until a Washington State Department of Transportation employee spotted the car and called for help. 

WSDOT spokeswoman Lauren Loebsack said she is not sure if preparedness would have helped in the case, but urged all drivers to keep a winter emergency kit handy. 

“You might find yourself in a situation where your vehicle heat is not available for you and in the winter it gets cold quick and that’s a very serious problem,” Loebsack said.

Drivers should keep a warm blanket, clothing and flashlights in their emergency kits, make sure their gas tank is full and keep their phone fully charged. 

“Also, that people know where you’re traveling and when to expect you, that was an excellent example of people knowing that she needed to be home, so they were able to call out and we were able to begin the search,” Loebsack said. 

A GoFundMe page for McFarland says her family is extremely grateful she made it out of the horrible situation alive. 

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