Man Survived In Freezing Car After Snowplow Buried Him In For 10 Hours

A man was trapped in the vehicle seen here for 10 hours in Upstate New York before being rescued by State Police.
A man was trapped in the vehicle seen here for 10 hours in Upstate New York before being rescued by State Police.
Photo: New York State Police

A New York man is recovering from hypothermia and frostbite after being trapped inside his car for 10 hours, buried under snow left by a passing plow, the Associated Press reported Friday.

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Kevin Kresen, 58, was discovered off State Route 17C in Owego, NY, a town that was walloped by more than three feet of snow during Winter Storm Gail last week. A state trooper discovered Kresen on Thursday morning after spending the overnight hours stuck in his Ford Fusion, repeatedly making 911 calls while authorities struggled to find him.

How Kresen ended up in this predicament is a harrowing reminder of the dangers of winter driving, and the result of awful, awful luck. The driver reports that he initially veered off road and into a ditch at about midnight, disabling his vehicle. Courtesy of CNN via The Mercury News:

... [Kresen] was on a stretch of road lined with houses — his right wheels were actually in a little ditch in someone’s front yard — so he figured help would be close by.

He used his phone to make an emergency call — and while he was waiting for assistance, a snowplow passed and buried the car in which he was sitting.

Due to a broken serpentine belt in the vehicle, Kresen was left without heat. New York State Police Sgt. Jason Cawley, who eventually rescued Kresen, told the Associated Press that first responders struggled to get a lock on his location due to a spotty signal, but were at least able to isolate a 3-mile zone. Cawley then took to the ground:

Cawley climbed miles of snowbanks, finally happening on one that looked slightly different and was in front of a house. He believed at first that he was looking at a row of mailboxes.

“I reached in to find which address I was at when I punched the side window of a car,” Cawley said. “I was a little shocked because I was actually standing almost on top of the car.”

The 22-year veteran of the State Police cleared off the glass and asked whether anyone was inside.

“I’m inside the car and I can’t feel my feet,” Kresen told him.

“My heart jumped,” Cawley said. He dug Kresen out with the help of a passerby.

Kresen was taken to Lourdes Hospital in Binghamton for treatment and is expected to recover. Everyone, be careful out there — winter hasn’t even officially started yet!

Staff Writer at Jalopnik. 2017 Fiesta ST. Wishes NASCAR was more like Daytona USA.

DISCUSSION

Due to a broken serpentine belt in the vehicle, Kresen was left without heat.

How was he driving before he went into the ditch then? Well, at least he didn’t asphyxiate himself waiting for help instead of freezing.