The final moments of a 22-year-old woman’s life have been revealed before she died in the deadly US storms.
Annadel Taylor was heading home from work in upstate New York on Friday afternoon when she got trapped in her car in Buffalo. Her body was found 18 hours later on Christmas Eve.
In a series of videos sent to her family in North Carolina, the young woman captured her dire situation. The last one, taken just after midnight, shows Ms Taylor winding down her window to reveal a snowy scene. In the background a van with red flashing lights also sits stuck in the snow, while the white powder covers Ms Taylor’s wing mirror.
“She was telling my sister that she was scared,” one of the young woman’s sisters, Shawnequa Brown, told WSOC-TV.
Mother believes daughter died from carbon monoxide poisoning
The family said that Ms Taylor had called 911 and was waiting for them. But “everybody that tried to get to her got stuck,” another of her sisters, Tomeshia Brown, said. “Fire department, police, everybody got stuck.”
While she waited, Ms Taylor told her sisters that she planned to get some sleep, and would try walking to safety if help hadn’t arrived by the time she woke up.
But she never did. Her mum believes she died of carbon monoxide poisoning.
“The car was running and the snow was still coming so it blocked the pipes, the exhaust pipe,” she told WSOC-TV. “Then after the car cut off, that’s when she iced up.”
It was Ms Taylor’s relatives in Buffalo that made the devastating discovery after breaking through the window.
Death toll rising as people ignore warnings
At least 60 people have died in weather-related incidents across the country in recent days, NBC News said.
At least 28 of those have died in the monster snowstorm pounding Erie County that New York Governor Kathy Hochul referred to as an “epic, once in a lifetime” weather event. Twenty of those deaths occurred in Buffalo after more than a metre of snow fell during the deadly Christmas blizzard.
Some of those who died were found frozen in cars, others in snow banks outside and others from medical emergencies such as cardiac arrest while shovelling snow.
“We’re recovering from the worst storm I’ve ever seen, certainly in terms of death from mother nature’s wrath,” Erie County’s chief executive Mark Poloncarz said on Twitter.
He went on to urge residents to stay home, saying that too many people are ignoring the driving ban.
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