139 motorists caught in snow on California mountain pass


The San Bernardino County Fire Department rescued motorists stranded due to snow on Highway 138 early Wednesday, Dec. 31, 2014.

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LOS ANGELES, Calif. – (CNN) — It beats sleeping in your car at temperatures in the teens — maybe lower.

Motorists snowed in on a mountain pass near Los Angeles will wake up Wednesday in a church shelter after fire rescuers ferry all 139 of them down in three snowcat vehicles.

They got stuck near the town of Crestline, when a wreck blocked the road, and snow piled in on top of them, San Bernardino County Fire Chief Mark Hartwig said.

Some of them pulled out their phones and called for help.

Cell pictures posted to Twitter showed vehicles that had slid off the road.

The all-weather, all-terrain snowcats, which have tank treads, trudged up the highway overnight, the fire department said on its Twitter account.

Then they trekked the motorists down to a local church.

Fire rescuers plan to help motorists recover their vehicles on Thursday.

Elsewhere in the San Bernardino Mountains, snow caught at least another 25 motorists in their cars.

They were also being rescued and taken to a shelter, fire officials said.

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