Rita Chretien survives for seven weeks in her Astro Van – Click above to watch video after the jump

The Chretiens left British Columbia with their Chevrolet Astro Van pointing towards Las Vegas. Rita and her husband Albert were embarking on a 1,200-mile road trip. Unfortunately for the Chretiens, and for reasons we don't know, that Asto Van ended up stuck in the mud out in the Nevada wilderness.

After sitting helpless for a few days, Rita's husband couldn't wait around any more and left on foot to try and find some help. Rita stayed behind, and survived for seven weeks in the Chevy before a group of hunters came across the stuck vehicle. Rita Chretien had survived by rationing her trail mix and drinking melted snow. Sadly, Albert has not yet been found but the search for Mr. Chretien continues. Click past the jump to watch an ABC News spot on this story.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 38 Comments
      Sean Ahearn
      • 3 Years Ago
      First rule of getting stranded like this STAY IN THE VEHICLE!!! Second rule STAY IN THE VEHICLE!!! And third rule? ya you guessed it. Then have a fire, be prepared to make smoke signals and write a help message on the ground in giant letters. Unless your bear grylls trying to hike out is usually a death sentence.
      dukeisduke
      • 3 Years Ago
      Hmmmm... I spy a Toyota Camry wheel cover on the front.
      drewbiewhan
      • 3 Years Ago
      If you watched the ABC spot: She preferred to wait for god to save her...
        flychinook
        • 3 Years Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        Maybe that's how she ended up in the woods... she let "Jesus take the wheel"...
        Haris
        • 3 Years Ago
        @drewbiewhan
        funny thing is she got saved, reinforcing any and all (possibly stupid for the situation) belief she had
      Brutalisis
      • 3 Years Ago
      So a Chevy Astro is capable of getting far enough away from the world your lost for 7 weeks? sounds like it fell out of a episode of the Twilight Zone.
      Maxximtl
      • 3 Years Ago
      I had very bad visions of that movie "Alive" when I read this article. But 7-weeks! That is insane. Its hard to believe that you can still become stranded in this day and age.
        kelvin273c
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Maxximtl
        I think back to the Jamie Foxx show whenever I see an Astro Van.
      zegwee
      • 3 Years Ago
      Wow, she truly had a guardian angel on her shoulder. Amazing. www.totally-anon.at.tc
      Mike K
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is basically one giant ad for All Wheel/4 Wheel Drive, and GPS Navigation. This article has little to do with the actual vehicle, since it's a POS Chevy and got stuck, and more to do with this women's survival skills. Glad she's alright though; hope they find the husband.
        James
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Mike K
        It is also an ad for a cellphone...
          Jubmasterflex
          • 3 Years Ago
          @James
          This. I refuse to believe someone traveling that far of a distance, particularly to Vegas doesn't have at least a "Pay as You Go" phone...
      EnzoHonda
      • 3 Years Ago
      I've notice a surprising number of dickish comments in this thread for some reason. There are plenty of places in North America where the cell-signals, radio stations, and traffic all disappear. If you get stuck out there, you're in trouble. Anyone here ever had their car get stuck in snow/mud/pudding or from a flat/mechanical failure? Yes? Then it could happen to you.
        TruthHertz
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EnzoHonda
        There are plenty of Interstates that don't go anywhere near mud.
        David
        • 3 Years Ago
        @EnzoHonda
        As long as you have an unobstructed view of the sky, a satellite phone will work anywhere in the world.
          flychinook
          • 3 Years Ago
          @David
          David, I don't think I know a single person with a satellite phone. That said, I would think the first course of action would be to go back to the road and wait for another passer-by. Not to sit in the wilderness in a wilderness-colored van.
      • 3 Years Ago
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        Josh
        • 3 Years Ago
        here here! I have a 1991 astro thats had two transmissions and two engines run through it that still keeps trucking. I abuse the crap out of it and use it for all kinds of work and it has never let me down. All the break downs have been on days where it didnt really matter, somehow :) But its only broken down about 4 times. Once when the first trans blew after 175k miles of abuse at 85mph, second when the original ignition module crapped out at 180 something k miles, original fuel pump finally gave around 200k miles and the original motor exploded after 205k miles of abuse. Mine gets around 20-22mpg on the highway loaded down cruising at 75mph and will haul just about anything. Don't hate on the vans, people. I don't make fun of your eco cars (I've owned my fair share).
          WillieD
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Josh
          "thats had two transmissions and two engines run through it " Honestly, that doesn't sound like something to boast about. Our Expedition has around 315,000 miles on the original tranny and engine. And it's never broken down.
          Josh
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Josh
          yeah, we've had vehicles with far better fairing transmissions. The primary bushing went out and from there everything exploded. The replacement has been upgraded with an actual bearing assembly. Its a design flaw from some model years of the 700r4 transmission. New one should last longer :)
      Nowuries
      • 3 Years Ago
      Pathetic people can't figure out how to get out of some mud anymore... there were plenty of available resources to dig it out and create traction... but glad to hear hunters found them--respect the guys who go out in the cold to provide food on their table.
        Rotation
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Nowuries
        Digging out is a moderately difficult skill. The part that saddens me is that people can't figure out how to stay away from getting in mud in the first place. It's the desert. Just because it isn't summer doesn't mean it's a walk in the park. Be prepared before you go into the wild.
      Derek Ziemba
      • 3 Years Ago
      Never take an Astro to Vegas. Ours got us stuck in the mountains for 3 days. Replaced a whole slew of sensors and the catalac converter. Never did get it to run so it was towed back to lower altitudes where it would run. Spent 2-3 grand to go half way to vegas.
      Jac Zobel de Ayala
      • 3 Years Ago
      What a tragic story. But they should have cash for clunkered that van back then.
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