Plane locates hunters

Searchers find trio alive in remote area of southwest Wyoming

A Wyoming man and his twin sons who were reported missing early Tuesday were located this morning.

The truck was discovered by an airplane operating out of Rock Springs, Wyo., that was assisting the Sweetwater County Sheriff's Office with the search.

According to Sweetwater County Sheriff Gary Baillif, the pilot spotted the maroon 1985 Chevrolet pick-up truck of Victor Bertagnolli, 35, at 10:02 a.m.

Bertagnolli was reported missing by his ex-wife and girlfriend at 1 a.m. Tuesday morning.

He and his10-year-old sons left their Rock Springs home Monday morning for a one-day rabbit hunting trip. One of their possible destinations was reportedly the Irish Canyon area in Northwest Moffat County.

The truck was discovered near Pine Butte, on the north end of Kinny Rim. The area is halfway between Rock Springs and the Wyoming/Colorado border.

The search area stretched from the Powder Wash River in Wyoming to Colorado State Highway 318, and into eastern Utah.

According to Moffat County Sheriff Buddy Grinstead, ground crews were attempting to reach the truck, but deep snow and a developing snow storm caused both volunteers and deputies to become stuck.

The planes assisting in the search were also forced away from the area because of the inclement weather.

Authorities finally reached the three stranded hunters at approximately 11:30 a.m.

The truck Bertagnolli and his sons were traveling in had become trapped in the rough and snowed-in terrain.

"They were on the east side of Highway 430, which leads into Irish Canyon and becomes our Highway 318," Grinstead said. "The area is very remote, and the amount of snow and blowing snow around made it difficult to reach them.

"They are all OK, and they're being warmed up right now."

The MCSO had used four teams of Sheriff's Posse members, Undersheriff Jerry Hoberg, Emergency Management Director Clyde Anderson and an airplane to search the Irish Canyon area Tuesday.

The search had extended into Utah by this morning, with the Daggett County Sheriff's Office scouring the eastern part of their county.

According to Hoberg, search efforts from the sky were abandoned yesterday due to weather, but resumed this morning.

Sweetwater County had issued an Attempt to Locate bulletin to all law enforcement agencies in Wyoming, Colorado and Utah.

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