Real Names: Unknown
Case: Lost Rescuers
Date: December 1983
Details: On December 23, 1983, the Dover family from Atlanta, Georgia, left their homes to travel to visit family members in Ciudad Victoria, Mexico, a 1200 mile trip. In the group was Joe Dover, his son Vance, his father-in-law James, his cousin Tommy, Tommy's seven-year-old son David, and a family friend Mary Ann Prudente. The Dovers planned to reach their destination by Christmas Day.
As they were driving in Mexico, it began to snow. Vance was driving when they had to take a detour, as the main road into the mountains had been closed. As they continued driving, snow began to lay on the road. Suddenly, Vance lost control and they collided with another vehicle in the middle of nowhere. Tragically, the four occupants of the other car were killed, but amazingly, all of the Dover family was still alive. However, many of them were seriously injured and clinging to life.
As they were trying to figure out what to do, an unknown American couple came to help them and take them out of the vehicle. The couple soon took charge of the rescue operation. James was seriously injured and placed in the back of a truck by the couple. Tommy was believed to have died at first and the couple worked desperately to revive him; fortunately, they were successful. The woman then tried to comfort Vance, who was laying injured in her car.
The family members were sent to a health clinic in Monterrey, almost an hour away. The couple stayed with the family and tried to keep them comforted while at the hospital. A nurse told Vance that his leg was broken and that a pin would have to placed through his knee. She told him that Tommy, Mary Ann, and David were also there, but were in critical condition. There was no sign of Joe or James. Vance feared that they had died.
The next morning, Vance remembered waking up to find the American woman was still there and taking care of him and the others. She assured Vance that everything was going to be okay and that his father and grandfather were being taken care of. In fact, all six of the family members were alive and well with the help of the American couple. The couple left later that day and were never seen again. The Dover family never had a chance to thank them for their help. Twelve years later, the family, including Joe's wife Linda, still hopes to find the couple.
Extra Notes: This segment was featured as part of the May 19, 1995 episode.
Results: Solved. On the night of the broadcast, a viewer recognized the Dover family's story as one often told by her friend, Dr. Nancy Neff Hannan and her husband John, of Houston, Texas. The Hannans were soon put in contact with Vance Dover and the rest of the family.
A few weeks later, more than thirty members of the Dover family were at Christ Church in Canton, Georgia, where they finally were reunited with the Hannans. The Hannans and the Dovers compared their memories of the fateful night, and the Dovers were finally able to thank Nancy and John for saving their lives. The Dovers plan to visit the Hannans as they make their annual trip to Mexico.