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Yankton Sioux man stranded for 36 hours

MARTY, S.D. - What began as a trip to shop for groceries turned into 36-hour survival trek for a Yankton Sioux tribal member stranded along state Highway 46 during a late January snow storm which paralyzed much of the state.

Henry Hare Jr., who made a wrong turn on his way home from Wagner to Marty, was rescued after 36 hours in his car. Charles Mix County authorities offered descriptions of Hare's vehicle on local television stations asking anyone who might have seen Hare's car to contact them, but it was a local farmer who came to his rescue after noticing the lights of Hare's vehicle.

Henry Hare Sr., who lives about a mile from his son, said he and relatives notified authorities when his son failed to stop by his home.

Hare, who uses a wheelchair, had to stay in the car from 11 p.m. Jan. 29 until he was found about 11 a.m. Feb. 1. With his car stuck in a ditch along the road, he reported he tried to stay alert while waiting to be rescued. He used a blanket to cover his legs, and he ran the car from time to time to keep warm.

The elder Hare, who spoke on behalf of his son who doesn't have local phone service, said his son had food in the car, but didn't have luxuries such as a cell phone to call for help. Blowing snow made driving treacherous and caused white out conditions, he said.

"His car went into the ditch in a white out," Hare said.

His only hope for help was if a passing motorist or a local resident saw his car. The elder Hare couldn't identify his son's rescuer.

Henry Hare Jr. was taken to the Indian Health Service for an examination before returning to his Marty home. Although the car remained in the ditch, his father said his son is doing well.

"He's going to be all right," the elder Hare said.