A New Mexico couple buried alive in a 12-foot snowdrift for 20 hours is sharing what it was like and what they did to survive. From forcing themselves to stay awake, huddling up together to keep warm, and preserving cell phone battery, the story of Jimmy and Betty Anderson from Clovis in New Mexico is insightful.
A New Mexico couple was buried alive in their car for 20 hours during a monster snowdrift, reports NBC News on December 29. When 54-year-old Jimmy Anderson and his 55-year-old wife Betty left their Clovis home on Saturday evening around 8 p.m. to deliver their stack of about 115 copies of the Clovis News Journal’s Sunday edition to their customers, they didn’t expect to be fighting for their lives just a few minutes later. After all, their route only covered a 50-mile area and usually took only three hours to complete.
When the Andersons left their home, “it was kind of a little bit snowy. We didn’t think it was going to hit until later in the morning,” said Betty. But after delivering just five papers, the couple realized that the weather was unexpectedly turning for the worse and that it was time to go back home:
“It kind of dumped on us in the middle of the road,” Jimmy said of the wild winter system. “Between the wind and the snow, you couldn’t see a thing.”
The New Mexico couple never made it home, but instead landed in a 12-foot snowdrift that trapped them in their Ford Fusion for 20 hours. Because of their cell phones, the Andersons were able to call 911 and after hearing that an all-terrain vehicle and firefighters were coming to their rescue, the couple wasn’t too concerned — at first.
But when weather conditions turned monstrous, the rescue unit was unable to reach them, and their Ford Fusion lost power, things turned from bad to worse and the Andersons were left fighting for their lives in 18 degree temperatures:
“To stay warm, I climbed into the passenger seat with Betty and we had a small thin blanket and tried to keep warm. We’d fall asleep for five or ten minutes and then wake up and say, ‘Hey are you OK?’ We just tried to keep each other talking. We didn’t sleep much,” Jimmy said. “I was afraid I wouldn’t wake up.”Besides trying to stay awake, Jimmy tried to keep Betty’s spirit up. “It’s going to be OK.”
The New Mexico couple trapped in a snowdrift preserved their cell phones’ batteries to communicate with loved ones and to update emergency crew members and Lt. Roger Dial of the Clovis Police Department of their status every hour. “Every hour I would call,” Jimmy said. “It got to where I think I was giving him hope, letting him know we were still here, we were still alive.”