You probably already know that I was a huge fan of the long gone cable channel ZDTV/TechTV. One of the people who contributed to that channel’s success was James Kim. Last weekend he and his family disappeared while on their way home from Thanksgiving at a friend’s house in Oregon. After being lost in the snow for over a week his wife and children were found. James, however, had left them to find help 2 days earlier.
After an extensive search by land and air James’ body was found earlier today. It appears he was leaving a trail of clothing to help searchers track him, but they got there too late.
Besides losing a great technology journalist what strikes me is that this could happen to anyone. They missed a turnoff and looked at map and found another route to take. It was a National Forest Service road that, unkown to them, is not plowed in the winter. They became stuck and wound up staying in their car for a week with little or no food.
I’ve seen a lot of people who were critical of James’ decision to leave the family and car. But I can’t imagine how desparate he must’ve been at that point. They ran the car heater until it ran out of gas. They then burned the tires for warmth. Seriously, how bad does a situation have to be to push you to the point where burning your tires is the best option. After a week of being stranded, he had to think that they’d never be rescued unless he went for help.
Like I said, what is so scary is that this could happen to anyone. I mean I don’t expect that you could get quite that lost in the this part of the country, but there are is still plenty of wilderness in places like Oregon. It’s definately making be reconsider what I carry in my trunk.
You can donate to the family at the site set up by a friend while the family was missing at www.jamesandkati.com.
You can also view a tribute from his coworkers at C|NET.