Group of 4 Who Spent 2 Days Stranded in Oregon Mountains Rescued By High School Classmates

Joelle Goldstein
·4 min read

A pair of brothers and their girlfriends have their former classmates to thank for saving their lives after they spent two days trapped in the Oregon Cascade mountains.

The dramatic ordeal first began on Sunday when R.J. Hampton, his brother Kheigan Hampton and their girlfriends Haley Davis and Kayleigh Ford embarked on a trip to the Snow Peak area outside of Salem to see the snow, Fox affiliate KPTV reported.

When they arrived at their initial destination — a spot where the group often goes off-roading — they noticed that there was no snow, so they continued traveling up Highway 22 and into the forest, according to the outlet.

But that's where things took a turn for the worse.

According to the outlet, R.J. stopped to get more gas after realizing that his car only had a quarter of a tank left, but when he went to restart the engine, his truck would not turn on.

"I got back in my truck, and it wouldn’t start," he recalled to KPTV. "It just sat there and turned over and would not start, and that is when we realized we were in a little bit of a situation."

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Though they attempted to solve the problem, which they believe was due to a mechanical issue after experiencing a frozen fuel line, the group soon realized they were unable to do so — and were now stranded in the middle of nowhere with no service.

The situation was further complicated by the fact that their families expected them to be in Snow Peak and were unaware that they had ended up traveling to a different part of Linn County for the snow, according to the outlet.

"Once we were up there and realized how little that road was actually traveled, [the] chances of somebody being out here, let alone having service, is slim to none,” R.J. told KPTV.

Over the next two days, the group did what they could to survive as temperatures dropped and snow began to fall. Meanwhile, back in Salem, their families grew concerned when the brothers and their girlfriends did not return as planned.

The group relied on a small propane heater to stay warm, munched on the few snacks they had, continued to clear snow from the hood and roof of the truck in hopes someone would spot them and used spotlights when planes flew overhead, KPTV reported.

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At one point, they split up and decided to walk a few miles away from where their vehicle was parked in order to find cell phone service, with Kheigan estimating that they traveled an estimated three or four miles on foot.

Eventually, their efforts paid off and they were finally able to get enough service to contact 911 and post on Facebook notifying their followers as to their location.

A massive search was immediately launched by Marion and Linn County Deputies, KPTV reported.

R.J. and Kheigan's other two brothers, Konagher and Levi, also helped lead the search in the backcountry and in a different location where a cell phone had pinged, while their mom Kelly Kapri asked for help on Facebook, KPTV reported.

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On Tuesday, the group was located by two people on snowmobiles, who happened to be old classmates of theirs from Cascade High School, according to the outlet.

Being found came as a huge relief for R.J., Kheigan, Davis and Ford, who told the outlet they had all been shaken up by the traumatic ordeal.

After being rescued and greeted by their loved ones, the group said they were forever thankful for the people who went searching for them and refused to give up.

"We've grown up with [classmate] Lee Bethel, since we were young," R.J. explained to the outlet. "And for him to be the one that got to us before anyone else is like, 'Wow!' There are obviously that many people out here, that we didn’t know who were actually looking for us."

Added Davis: "That’s when you start feeling the love and the guilt. Like I said, this is our fault, but thank God for each and every one of them."

"Without them, we might not have been here," she continued to KPTV. "Thank God for our friends. We have amazing friends. We are just so thankful."