July 13, 2024

A 22-year-old who was trapped in her car during snowstorm has died, her family says

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A 22-year-old who was trapped in her car during snowstorm has died, her family says

The family of a 22-year-old woman who shared videos of the unprecedented snowstorm in Buffalo, New York, as she was trapped in her car waiting for help says she was among the 34 dead in western New York from the city’s deadliest snowstorm in decades.

Anndel Taylor was on her way home from her job as an assistant at a nursing home on Dec. 23 when her car got stuck in the snow, her family said.

Taylor called 911 for help but had no choice but to wait inside her car, which she kept running, her mother Wanda Brown Steele told NBC News.

Taylor’s family said she had sent videos of her vehicle stuck in the snow, and last heard from her shortly after midnight on Dec. 24, when she said she was going to try to go to sleep and walk to safety in the morning.

Taylor’s sister Tomeshia Brown said she posted a photo of Taylor, along with her approximate location, in a Facebook group. A man who lived nearby went out and found her vehicle around 9 p.m. on Dec. 25, Brown said.

Taylor was found dead lying in the reclined driver’s seat.

“I’m good one minute, then it hits me,” Brown Steele told NBC News.

The Erie County Medical Examiner did not immediately respond to a request for comment from NBC News regarding Taylor’s cause of death.

Taylor’s sisters criticized first responders for not getting to her sister and her vehicle for two days.

“I don’t understand what they’re there for,” Shawnequa Brown said. “I feel like I don’t know if they tried, but they didn’t try hard enough. I’m upset about it … they never made it there at all.”

NBC News has also reached out to Buffalo police for comment.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown has said the city believes every abandoned vehicle in the middle of city streets have been checked for survivors. Authorities are marking each vehicle with tape after they have been checked.

Those dead in Erie County, New York, include 17 people found outside, seven others without heat and three people found in their vehicles, County Executive Mark Poloncarz said.

Taylor, who was soon turning 23, had moved to Buffalo from Charlotte, North Carolina, in 2020 to be closer to her diabetic father and to finish college, her mother told NBC News.

“She had plans. She was doing it,” she said. “She got further than anybody, including myself.”

The Taylor family’s Christmas dinner, full of the 22-year-old’s favourite dishes, sat cold and untouched as they discovered what happened to her in the snowstorm.

“Everywhere in the house, everybody sees her face,” Taylor’s stepmother, Lasheena Smith, told NBC News. “We still feel helpless.”

Copyright: TODAY.com

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