Two motorists survive being snowbound Monday night, plow drivers thanked
Published Wednesday, January 8, 2014 8:18AM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, January 8, 2014 7:03PM EST
Snow plow operators are being credited in the rescue of two drivers in southwestern Ontario after they spent hours trapped in their vehicles while temperatures plummeted to -25 Monday night.
A missing 70-year-old Leamington man was found alive Tuesday after spending the night buried in snow inside his pickup truck during one of the worst cold weather spells the area has seen in years.
John Friesen was reported missing several hours after he left his home around 4:30 p.m. Monday in the midst of a dangerous cold snap and blowing snow.
It wasn’t until Tuesday afternoon that two Ontario Provincial Police officers, aided by a local snow plow driver, noticed a vehicle buried in a large snow drift on East Beach Road in Leamington.
'All they could see peering out from the snow drift was a tail light,' Const. Stephanie Moniz, a spokesperson for Leamington OPP, told CTVNews.ca.
When they began digging, they realized it was Friesen’s 2008 white GMC Sierra pickup truck.
The officers had to break one of the truck’s windows to get to Friesen, who was responsive but obviously affected by the frigid temperature, Moniz said.
Friesen was taken to hospital for treatment, but Moniz said she didn’t have an update on his condition as of late Tuesday night.
'We’re praying that he turns out just fine,' she said.
It wasn’t immediately clear how Friesen ended up stuck in his truck overnight.
Also on Tuesday, a Perth East snow plow operator wound up becoming a hero when he rescued a woman who was stranded in her vehicle.
Officials with Perth County say one of their colleagues came across the vehicle Tuesday morning while trying to clear the roadway on Perth Line 42 near Mitchell.
The plow driver found a pregnant woman who had spent the night on the side of the road because of the extremely poor weather conditions.
The woman was reportedly fine despite being snowed in.
Considering these two people were outside all night during one of the coldest nights in years, the fortunate end to both these stories is somewhat surprising.
Blowing snow made for difficult conditions on Highway 86 outside Elmira, Ont., on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014. (Kevin Doerr / CTV Kitchener)
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