A missing Pawhuska man is safe Monday night after spending the night stranded, lost in the cold and rain, after crashing his car in rural Osage County.
36-year-old George Maker was found walking a remote roadway near Camp Mc Clintock. Osage County Sheriff Eddie Virden said he spent 14 hours in the rain and cold overnight before he was found.
"Too many times we have it go the other way. We've unfortunately have been in a lot of search situations that had a sad ending, it's always nice when you have a happy ending for the family," Virden said.
Virden said rough, rocky terrain full of dangerous drop-offs and the cold, rainy weather could've led to a much worse outcome for Maker.
"Fortunately, it wasn't any colder than it was, but it would've been a really cold, rough night I'm sure," Virden said.
Virden said Maker ended up in the tough country after crashing his car around 9 p.m. Sunday night and wandered into the thick brush after calling his family for help. Virden said Maker was disoriented, cold, and found himself lost in the dark with a dead cellphone.
Maker's family tried to find him and searched for several hours, but they ended up calling the Sheriff who started a search party early Monday morning.
"At that point they were becoming concerned, because of the weather. We had a lot of rain, it was getting cold, they couldn't find him," Virden said.
Eventually Maker found a clearing and followed it to a county road.
"He had made his way through this timber and through this rough-rock canyon down to a point that that pipeline intersected," Virden said. "Around 11 a.m. as we were moving into that area, he actually came walking out of a pipeline right-of-way onto a county road."
A member of the search party happened to be driving by and spotted Maker, ending the search and bringing him safely home.
The Oklahoma Highway Patrol is still investigating what caused Maker to crash his vehicle Sunday.