Utility worker finds stranded man in the desert west of Phoenix

CHANDLER, AZ - A utility worker checking power lines says it was just luck that he came across a 78-year-old Arizona man who apparently spent several days in the desert after his car got stuck.

Arizona Public Service co. employee Robert Cumbie on Wednesday spotted Donald Feiertag in his car, stuck in sand on an unmaintained road.

Feiertag had left his home in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler on Saturday to drive to Arizona City to go shopping.

He was expected back that evening but didn't return, and a daughter reported him missing Sunday.

It wasn't until Wednesday morning that Cumbie came across Feiertag and his car in the desert near Tonopah west of Phoenix. He was conscious and coherent but dehydrated.

Chandler police spokesman Seth Tyler said Friday it wasn't clear how long Feiertag was at the location where he was found, but Feiertag told Cumbie he'd been there several days.

By then, the family was hoping for the best but being advised to prepare for the worst.

"When we got the call, it was absolutely amazing," said Sami Corrado, Feiertag's granddaughter.  "We were so excited and screaming and crying. We called all our family members and friends to let them know they found him."

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