One of the most critical car safety tips is not to get overly confident when driving—taking an unfamiliar path or seeing some standing water might be enough to cause trouble, like getting stuck in the mud. One famous case, seen on Unsolved Mysteries, is of a young woman who got stuck in the middle of nowhere and disappeared.
An abandoned car leads to an interesting Unsolved Mystery episode
According to the Unsolved Mysteries website, in 1993, Kristie Krebs had left her work shift and was driving home, but she didn’t make it there that night. Somehow, she had gotten lost on an old dirt road in a forested area and got her car stuck in the mud. When the vehicle was discovered the following day, she was missing.
At the scene, investigators found some torn-up ID documents and photographs, her wet work clothes neatly folded and resting in the back seat, with her gym clothes gone, which it’s assumed she put on when she went missing. Some traces of blood were found in the car, and the radio was surprisingly missing.
Immediately, a search began for Krebs, but no signs of her were found. However, there were a couple of reports from people claiming to have seen her since then. One truck driver had picked her up and given her a ride but figured out later it had to have been her.
A woman in Utah also claimed to have picked up a young hitchhiker that she felt looked like Krebs. The most interesting part of this story, though, is that it’s not the only incident involving Krebs and an abandoned car stuck in the mud.
The story aired on Unsolved Mysteries in Season four, episode 22, and again in season seven, episode 10.
Kreb’s first abandoned car mystery
Krebs was fresh out of high school and working at a nearby restaurant a few years before. She had gotten involved with a married man and became euphoric about marrying him. The obsession became so bad that she spent one night driving around for hours, somehow finding herself on a dirt road near a forested area.
According to Listverse, the car she was driving got stuck in the mud so badly that the vehicle lit on fire. She was able to get out and wander off in the chaos of the flames. The vehicle was found burnt out, and she was located the following day walking by some railroad tracks in a daze.
She had a breakdown, so, with some professional help, she got back on her feet. Everything was going well with her, at least until the fateful night when she disappeared for good.
What should you do if your car gets stuck in the mud?
According to Firestone Complete Auto Care, if you find yourself stuck in the mud, spinning your wheels as fast as you can won’t help. It will likely make things worse by sinking your car deeper in the muddy ground, and it doesn’t matter what vehicle you have. In some cases, that can be dangerous, as Click 2 Houston reported. One driver sped around a corner too fast and went into the ditch where it got stuck.
After trying to get the car out, the driver managed to sink the rear part of the vehicle deeper into the mud, which would’ve plugged the tailpipe. The car ended up going up in flames, trapping the driver in the vehicle and burning them alive. The cause of the fire turned out to be a mechanical malfunction triggered by the whole process of trying to get out of the ditch.
Instead of spinning your wheels, there are a few things to try. One is to get out one of your floor mats. Blankets or carpet pieces work well, too. Place it in front and underneath the stuck tire. Then try to drive forward.
Sometimes, this method will give you enough traction to get out onto the drier pavement. If that doesn’t work, you’ll need to call someone to come tow you out. Dirk Nowitzki did just that not long ago when he got his van stuck.
If you’re planning to go to areas where there might be a possibility you could get stuck, like on an off-roading trip, have some supplies with you.