CASTAIC ( — Car trouble left an elderly, diabetic couple stranded for two days on a back road in the Santa Clarita Valley.

Joyce and Richard Larson, who are both in their 70s, got lost while running errands last Friday.

The couple was trying to get home using roads instead of the highway, and ended up on Charley Canyon Road, in Castaic. They kept traveling deeper into the hills when they decided to turn onto a back road, hoping it would get them home faster.

The tires of their Nissan got stuck in the dirt, and they found themselves stranded. Soon after, the car battery died.

The couple spent the next two days enduring sweltering heat.

They said a last-minute decision on Friday to buy grapes, tomatoes and bananas may have saved their lives. The fruits’ juice and sugar kept them from slipping into a diabetic coma.

“We were just so thirsty, it was awful,” Joyce said.

She used a red lipstick to write “SOS” on the roof of the car.

A helicopter passed overhead Sunday evening, and, when Joyce began waving her arms, it got the pilot’s attention. He gave them a ride home.

“I know, for sure, there’s a God. I’m just grateful to be here,” she said.

The couple was dehydrated and sunburned, but not seriously injured.


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