National Weather Service United States Department of Commerce

Winter Weather Survivor Stories

Dan, New York, February 1990

My friends and I were returning form a Presidents' Day weekend ski trip in Vermont. I was driving my car on the Berkshire section of the NY State Thruway at night in a blinding snowstorm. I could not see the highway lanes too well, and was following a car ahead of me for some direction. Suddenly, the car ahead of me went downhill on the left side of the road.

It struck me that I didn't recall there being a left exit, so it seems that the driver lost sight of the road and went down the median. I pulled over on the right side of the highway and carefully walked across the highway. We found the driver OK in her car, but a bit confused. We instructed the driver to keep the left side of her car, which was pointing downward sideways, closed. And we helped her get out on the passenger's side. We were concerned that the car might flip over on the left side, and we wanted her to escape on the opposite side of the potential flip. We got her into my car, and drove her to the police station next to the nearest toll booth.

We drove slowly on the snowy highway, and, thankfully, when we reached the main spur of the NY Thruway in NY, the roads were plowed better, and as we drove further south, the weather and roads improved. We're thankful that we were able to help a distressed person in a dangerous situatio