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B.C. Woman Survives 7 Weeks Via Chevy Astro

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On: Wed, May 11, 2011 at 10:42AM | By: Chris Salamone

B.C. Woman Survives 7 Weeks Via Chevy Astro

What’s worse than surviving in a Chevy Astro? Surviving in a Chevy Astro stuck in the Nevada wilderness with below freezing temperatures and almost no snacks to munch on. Unfortunately, when Rita and Albert Chretien left British Columbia to embark on a 1,200 mile road trip to Las Vegas they somehow managed to land in the exact above-mentioned scenario. Although details remain unclear, the Chretien’s Astro Van ended up stuck in the mud in the middle of the harsh Nevada wilderness.

After several days, pondering their situation, Albert decided that waiting was too risky and went out alone on foot to find some help. Rita sat by herself and without resources for seven weeks before a group of hunters spotted a small white flag wrapped around the van’s radio antenna. Rita's few sources of sustenance over forty-eight days formed a stringent college-reminiscent diet including a small bag of trail mix, hard candy bars, fish-oil tablets, and melted snow. Through the ordeal Rita lost nearly 30 pounds, but doctors claim she’s making a full recovery and can expect to be released from the hospital soon.

In an effort to stay toasty, Rita stuffed pages of an old phone book into the cracks of her windows. She read from the Bible and other books, attempted to build a fire, and probably composed at least one jisei... Joking aside, surviving seven weeks without food or water is an incredible achievement—all the more special because Rita was able to celebrate Mother’s Day with most of her family.

Authorities are still scrambling to find Albert Chretien, though. Despite a total search radius of 3,000 miles and three states, Albert remains missing. The local sheriff is unoptimistic about finding Albert after so much time in the wilderness. The search has been suspended numerous times because of bad weather which only served to make matters worse for Albert. If searching is difficult under snowy and cold conditions, one can only imagine how difficult having to survive alone would be.

Among other jewels of wisdom, this story really offers two main lessons: (1) people from British Columbia are a rugged, durable, and resourceful bunch, and (2) while the Chevy Astro may make a comfortable road-tripping vehicle, it is not an off-roader.


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