Senior survives day buried under snow bank in truck

Snow plow. (JOCELYN TURNER/QMI AGENCY)

Snow plow. (JOCELYN TURNER/QMI AGENCY)

Diana Martin, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:48 PM ET

CHATHAM, ONT. - A 70-year-old southern Ontario man can thank the keen eyes of a plow operator after he was pulled from his truck Tuesday, having spent a day trapped under a snow bank.

John Friesen of Leamington, Ont., had gone out for a drive in his white GMC Sierra pickup at 4:30 p.m. Monday and failed to return.

After a day of poking through snow banks, police were no closer to finding Friesen by Tuesday morning. That’s when plow operator Kevin Derbyshire spotted a faint red glow of a tail light in a snow bank near the entrance of a parking area.

By the time police arrived, Frisen and a co-worker, front-end loader operator Dominic Najim, had managed to dig through the nine-foot bank to get to the missing man.

“They had already found that he was alive and he was doing OK for 20 hours out in the blizzard,” said Sgt. Shawn Diewold, one of the first officers on the scene.

Friesen remains in hospital with frostbite to his fingers and toes — he was reportedly not wearing boots — but is otherwise in good condition, police said.

“The feeling was awesome,” Najim said of helping find the man. “We helped a lot of people out of snow drifts and the banks through the last couple of days and nights.”


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