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Jul 4, 2012

Three Tales of Extreme Breakdown Survival

Breaking down is not normally a matter of life and death. In most cases, you phone a professional, wait in the car for an hour or two, and enjoy the tow back to civilization. In a handful of cases, though, vehicular failures have become a struggle for survival. All it takes is the wrong fault at the wrong time. So here are a few stories of motorists who suddenly found themselves battling to stay alive.

Car Breakdown

When Cynthia Hoover from Colorado got into her car to go home one evening she did not bargain for what was to happen next. While driving along one of the main roads running through the Rocky Mountains, she swerved to avoid a herd of deer. In her attempt to dodge the animals, she over-compensated and ended up plummeting down a steep cliff, the car landing upside down. Of course, she was now some distance from the main road, and the car couldn’t be seen from the roadside. Nobody saw the accident: Hoover was completely alone with no-one to raise the alarm.

Colorado Rocky Mountains
The Mountainous Rockies 
Despite serious injuries including a punctured lung, Hoover set off in search of help. She survived on no food and sucking moisture that accumulated on her hair while she walked through the Rockies looking for help. On day five she stumbled across a mining operation and she used all the strength left in her to call out. A miner named Ron heard her and in a matter of minutes the emergency services had been called and Hoover was rushed to hospital to be treated not only for the injuries sustained in the crash, but also for the ravaging effects of five long days spent without food or adequate water. She was exhausted, dehydrated and malnourished. However, she survived, which considering the conditions is an incredible outcome.
Peter Skyllberg Igloo Effect Car
The snow covered car in which Peter Skyllberg was trapped
If you think five days is long enough, spare a thought for poor Peter Skyllberg, who was found inside his car in northern Sweden after two months of being stranded with no food and snow being his only source for hydration. Skyllberg had been living in his car for a few months when an extremely heavy snowfall rendered him unable to leave his vehicle. It also didn’t help that he was off the beaten track where it was unlikely anyone would pass by. In an amazing feat, Skllberg survived on no food for two months and ate snow to get fluids into his body. Experts believe he was incredibly lucky and would have been ultimately saved by his warm sleeping bag and clothing and, amazingly, the snow itself which will have formed an 'igloo effect' around his car and insulated him from the brunt of the freezing weather outside. The lucky guy was very weak when found in this February by a walker and is now recovering in hospital.

What makes the next survival story so incredible is that its protagonist James Klemovich was 76 years old at the time of its occurrence. James, a diabetic with a pacemaker installed, got stranded in the Nevada desert with a friend of his. The twosome had gone in search of mining opportunities when they found themselves stuck in an extremely remote area of the desert which at the time was covered in snow. They survived for five days by straining snow into water bottles to keep themselves alive and lighting fires in the hope they would be seen. Eventually, when things looked very bleak, Klemovich’s friend set off to find help. Sadly he couldn't get very far and succumbed to the elements. This left Klemovich stranded for another five days until he was picked up by passing military personnel who immediately began to render medical assistance. Doctors said afterwards that given his health conditions, which needed constant monitoring, and considering his age, it was amazing he survived for so long in such adverse conditions.

Nevada Desert
The Barren Nevada Desert
These breakdown survival stories were brought to you by the ever safety-conscious drivers at Vroomvroomvroom.co.uk

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