Kari Sukeforth of Randolph, left, points to her FedEx delivery truck that got stuck Wednesday night on Bemis Road in Letter D Township. Rangeley police and fire chief found her the next morning walking about 4 or 5 miles from the site. Rangeley Fire Rescue Department photo

RANGELEY — FedEx tracks its packages, but last week it tried to track one of its drivers after her delivery truck got stuck on a one-lane dirt road and had to spend the night there.

Kari Sukeforth of Randolph tried to get cellphone service on the one-lane, dirt Bemis Road in Letter D Township, at one point climbing 75 feet up a tree to no avail.

With a manhunt in the area for a convicted sex offender who had not reported to probation, she said she was getting more concerned as it grew darker.

Sukeforth had her delivery route all plotted with no backtracking, but about 7 p.m. she discovered the last bridge on the road was torn out.

“I was like this isn’t good, got out of my truck and looked on both sides of the dirt road to see which way would be the better option to back up and turn around,” she said. “On the right is a big drop-off and to the left where I backed up was a little bit of a dip and a downed limb.”

She took the safer choice instead of backing up several miles. When she tried to pull forward, her truck wasn’t moving.

“I was like ‘This is fabulous!’ I got out of my truck and looked and literally the back right corner of my driver’s side step was stuck on the downed limb,” she said. She tried to dig the truck out with a big stick.

During the long cold night with temperatures dipping into the 30s, there was a bear, a moose, a deer and weird birds that sounded like chimpanzees, she said.

Kari Sukeforth of Randolph left this note on her FedEx delivery truck after it got stuck on Bemis Road in Letter D Township on Wednesday night. She spent the night in the truck and walked 4 or 5 miles for help after daylight. Rangeley Fire Rescue Department photo

“It was like being in a cold rain forest,” she said. “I tried everything to get in contact with someone from work, from trying to message from my ground cloud route app to trying to use my iPad as a hot spot to climbing like 75 feet up a tree to message my manager,” she said.

She tried dialing 911 to have Koob’s Garage in Oquossoc Village called to be towed out. There was no cell service.

Her boyfriend went to the FedEx terminal in Lewiston around 4:30 a.m. Thursday and noticed her car was still in the lot. He and a company official contacted the Rangeley Police Department.

At daylight, Sukeworth walked 4 to 5 miles to get reception and started receiving texts from them.

Knowing the location of Sukeforth’s last delivery, Rangeley Police Chief Russell French and Fire Rescue Chief Michael Bacon set out and with tips and help from Franklin County dispatchers, they found her at about 10 a.m. Thursday walking.

“‘Ma’am is there a reason my package is late?’ Sukeforth said French asked her.

“We laughed. I said ‘I’ve never been so happy to see you in my life!'”

Bacon made sure she was in good health and drove her to her truck and pulled it out.

“With everything else going on in the area we were worried,” Bacon said.

“It might not be the FedEx rescue like Tom Hanks’ in ‘Castaway,’ but I think Kari was happy to be found regardless,” Bacon wrote on the department’s Facebook page.

Kari Sukeforth of Randolph got her FedEx delivery truck stuck on rural Bemis Road in Letter D Township on Wednesday evening after discovering a torn-out bridge. Kari Sukeforth photo

Sukeforth left a “Wilson smiley face” — like Hanks did on a volleyball in the 2000 movie — on packages on her next shift.

She has since learned how to send an SOS on the truck scanner and her co-worker, who does the Carrabassett Valley route, and she have arranged to call one another if they are not back by 9 p.m.

Sukeforth said in a message Sunday that she’s a “country girl, but not Rangeley-stranded country.”

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