Northwest Iowa Family Rescued By National Guard In Blizzard

By Addison Speck, Reporter

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By Aaron Hepker

URBANA, Iowa — An Iowa family is thankful to be safe and alive after sliding off the road and then being rescued on Wednesday night. The Wilson’s were headed from their hometown of Cherokee County in northwest Iowa to Ohio for the holidays when they hit a patch of ice about 8 miles south of Urbana.

“We were going about 35 miles an hour, so I wasn’t pushing it hard at all and we just jumped in the ditch,” said Michael Wilson, who was driving at the time. The family was traveling to see family for the holidays. When they started out on their trip Michael said there was a little snow, but the family thought they would be able to get out of the state before things got bad.

But in an instant they found themselves in a ditch and immediately called for help. “When we were sitting there in the ditch I did wonder how long it would be before somebody stopped,” said Michael.

In just a short time 4 members of the Iowa National Guard showed up in a Humvee. “We got all loaded within three minutes,” said Sgt. 1st Class John DeVore, “We got there and we knocked on the door and opened up the van and they were all smiling because we showed up.”

The Iowa National Guard is always ready for when storms like this hit. DeVore said their mission is to support the state and community so they are always thrilled to help out when needed. “As they were getting out of the vehicle you could just hear the excitement of the kids saying, wow this is an army vehicle,” he said.

Isaac Wilson, the youngest in the family, was likely the most thrilled. He described the experience to TV like this, “They put us in this really fancy truck and we got blankets, snacks, and they drove us to the hotel,” he said.

The family has been staying at the Urbana Inn and Suites until their van can be towed out of the snow bank and put back on the road. “It’s been fun just to be together,” said Laura Wilson, the oldest daughter in the family. With no option of leaving, the family has spent the last 24 hours watching TV, swimming, and just hanging out.

On Thursday morning an employee with the local towing and auto garage in town picked the family up and took them to get more things out of their van that still sits along I-380. “He then took us to the grocery store and brought us back here,” said Sara Wilson, the mother.

“You know people from Iowa as a whole have a reputation of being friendly and the people we ran into last night just really affirmed that,” added Michael.

Despite the Wilson’s plans sliding off course for a few days, the family is still in good spirits. “So often we take for granted the small things, small blessings that God does for us. All we did was hit some grass and was sitting on the side of the road, we’re all cared for and very safe,” said Michael.

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