UTAH

Houston couple survives nearly a week in Utah without food and water

Oct 13, 2017, 6:47 PM | Updated: Oct 16, 2017, 2:20 pm

...

KANE COUNTY, UTAH – A couple from Houston, Texas, barely survived being stranded for six days with no food and very little to drink.  The Kane County Sheriff’s Office says the couple would not have survived another day.

Gerald and Helena Byler had planned to travel from Kanab to Lake Powell, but they got stuck on an extremely remote road near the Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument after following their GPS.  The road was so rocky, pieces of their rental car kept breaking off as they drove.  There was even a sign on the road instructing drivers that they needed extra food, clothes and a four-wheel drive vehicle to continue.  Eventually, they got stuck in an area known as the Grand Bench.

(Credit: Kane County Search and Rescue)

After spending a night outdoors, Helena says they agreed she would hike for help.  She says, “I was not afraid.  I don’t know why I was not scared.  I knew that God was with me.”

The hike was grueling.  Investigators say she accidentally circled back to near the area where she left Gerald.  “I couldn’t recognize anything.  There was no hope,” she says.

Luckily for her, she found trailers along the way for shelter.  However, her body was so strained, she was having severe hallucinations.  Kane County Sheriff Tracy Glover says she actually had access to canned food and bottled water, but, her body wouldn’t let her reach it.  He says, “She was not able to get any of that food.  She recounts the story about being in what she thought was a marble building and that there were people in there, but, they wouldn’t let her hands get on the food.”

Helena was spotted by a rancher as she was laying on the Croton Road on October 2nd.  The man who found her, Dell LeFevre was checking on his cattle and was about to go home.  He had a choice of two roads, and took the one that led to Helena.  LeFevre says, “She put her arms up in the air and I knew she was in trouble. She was carrying a two-by-four.  She figured the Navajos had come out and the moon was going to get her, so I knew she was delusional.”  She also claimed she spoke with a 911 dispatcher, and she believed her husband was already rescued.  LeFevre knew that wasn’t true because rescuers wouldn’t have left her there.

Crews were able to ask her where the couple got stranded, originally.  Medical choppers were sent, and they spotted a faint SOS sign made of rocks and flowers.

(Credit: Kane County Search and Rescue)

Gerald says he remembered advice he saw while watching the rescue efforts during Hurricane Harvey.  He says, “Take out a white cloth, either a sheet or a towel, anything, and hang it outside so people can see it.”

Gerald had also found a trailer to provide shelter.  He was so dehydrated when he was found, he couldn’t move.  However, he had been rescued because of his wife.  He says, “She did a heck of a job.”

Kane County officials say Helena has already been discharged from the hospital, but, Gerald actually suffered a stroke during his ordeal.  He’s still recovering at Dixie Regional Hospital.

(Photo Credit: Ladd Egan: KSL TV, Twitter)

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah

Former BYU men’s head basketball coach Mark Pope high-fives the front row of the student section ...

Mitch Harper

Kentucky’s Mark Pope Expressed Gratitude For Time As BYU Head Coach

Basketball coach Mark Pope expressed gratitude for his time at BYU while settling into his new position as Kentucky Wildcats bench boss.

3 hours ago

Kevin Bacon at Payson High School....

Amie Schaeffer

Kevin Bacon visits Payson High School after student-led campaign

Actor Kevin Bacon returned to Payson High School after a student-led campaign. The actor and the students spent the morning building service kits.

21 hours ago

A skier dressed as a Teletubbie participates in a pond skimming event at Gunstock Mountain Resort....

Nick Perry

Soar, slide, splash? It’s skiers’ choice as spring’s wacky pond skimming tradition returns

A spring tradition of pond skimming is happening that is meant to celebrate the last day of the skiing season before the chairlifts close.

23 hours ago

The Unified Police Department is searching for a missing 13-year-old girl from Midvale Friday night...

Devin Oldroyd

Unified Police Department searching for missing 13-year-old in Midvale

The Unified Police Department is searching for a missing 13-year-old girl from Midvale Friday night.

2 days ago

Michael Bacon and Kevin Bacon (Bacon Brothers Band) during rehearsals for Mother Nature Netwok's Wh...

Curt Gresseth

After 40 years, Payson High bringing home Bacon

Kevin Bacon returns Saturday to Payson High School for the 40th anniversary of the movie Footloose.

2 days ago

sign says "trans lives matter," the sign was for a protest about how slc school district was implem...

Heather Peterson

Implementation of new Utah bathroom law causes confusion in SLC School District

A new Utah bathroom law that takes effect on May 1 is at the center of some confusion about what schools do and don't need to do.

2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Houston couple survives nearly a week in Utah without food and water