An 81-year-old man was lost for over a week and was found alive and well in his car after being trapped in one of California’s recent snowstorms.
According to the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, the guy was discovered on March 2 when a California Highway Patrol helicopter crew noticed him waving his arm from his buried car.
“When the crew made their way closer for inspection, a window was lowered and a person began waving from inside the vehicle,” the sheriff’s said in their statement, shared on Saturday.
CBS affiliate KTVN identified the guy as Jerry Alan Jouret. Jouret had been reported missing since Feb. 24, when he was last heard from before driving 170 miles from Big Pine, California, to Gardnerville, Nevada.
Jouret was released from the hospital later that day, according to the sheriff’s office. “I just really believe it was a miracle,” his brother, Joe Jouret, told Patch.
“[The pilot] was about out of gas,” he continued, recalling when his brother was found. “But he looked down and he saw what looked like a rock as he looked down. He had another man with him in the helicopter…and as they looked down there, it was [my brother’s] car. He was almost buried in snow, but not quite. He took his hand out of the window and waved it.”
According to the site, Jouret survived the experience by eating snow and croissants. The sheriff’s office provided photos of snow piles covering most of the area near Death Valley Road where Jouret was found.
The sheriff described the location as a “rough road running south of the 168 and leading into Death Valley National Park.” “He was smiling all the way back to the airport,” Joe Jouret told Patch of his brother. “He was happy to get out of that situation.”