Stuck in a snowdrift for about a week, a man survived eight years in his car eating croissants, candy and cookies on a deserted highway in California.
Jerry Gorrett, 81, left his home in Big Pine, California on Feb. 24 to head home to his family in Gardnerville, Nevada — just over three hours away in optimal road conditions.
According to his grandson Christian, the man thought he could outsmart the impending snowstorm that was about to hit the state. He made a mistake.
While driving, Jouret accidentally skidded on a smaller road and his SUV got stuck in a snowdrift.
“It’s very short,” Christian told CNN. He doesn’t have a lot of meat on his bones.”
Juri survived by eating the few snacks he had in his car. He would roll out his window from time to time to eat the snow.
Described by his grandson as “a very smart guy”, the man stayed in his car and kept his car’s gas and battery, only turning the ignition on periodically to keep himself warm.
A fluffy quilt and a hotel bath towel were the only layers Jorit had to keep warm.
The mathematician and former NASA employee was unprepared for the weather, wearing only a light windbreaker, according to his grandson.
About 3 feet (7 cm) of snow fell during the series of storms that battered the state throughout the week.
Many parts of California saw large amounts of snow – an unusual event for a state that isn’t used to harsh winters.
The harsh conditions that continued throughout the day knocked out power to thousands of homes, buried roads in snow and left many people, like Jorit, stranded.
In the middle of the third day, Jorit’s car battery died while he was rolling up the electric window. It remained open a few centimeters throughout its adventure.
On February 28, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office said it had received a “missed call” in a Facebook post.
Inyo County search and rescue teams scheduled search missions for the next day, but had to delay due to safety concerns due to the winter storm, according to a letter from the sheriff’s office.
A cell phone ringtone identified by the California Highway Patrol staff as of March 2 did not help narrow the search area. As soon as the weather permitted, the helicopter crews were deployed.
As a team made their way to refuel the helicopter, the pilot spotted something that he initially thought was a large boulder. A closer look located a car – and the pilot saw an arm sticking out of the small car’s window opening.
His grandson said that Juri was only hospitalized for a few hours and had no signs of hypothermia.
“The nurses were in shock at the quality of his vital signs,” said young Jouret.
After leaving the hospital, Jory is taken back to his home in Big Pine. He then has to catch a bus back to his wife’s Gardnerville because the couple’s SUV is stuck in the snow.
“Total coffee aficionado. Travel buff. Music ninja. Bacon nerd. Beeraholic.”
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