71-year-old man trapped in car for hours after driving into ditch hidden from view


An elderly man was trapped in his car for hours this morning, after his car went off the road.

The vehicle was hidden from view. Our cameras were rolling as the vehicle was finally pulled from the ditch where the victim helplessly waited.

Fresh tire tracks lead right to the bald spot in the snow where the car ended up.

“It wasn't visible from the roadway, so it was a potentially dangerous situation,” said Lt. Jeffrey Collins of Rotterdam Police Dept.

Before the vehicle was pulled to safety, a 71-year-old man was trapped inside, and he needed help.

“He himself was contacting [roadside assistance] to try and get his car pulled out,” Collins said.

Police say the roadside assistance contractor and the insurance company alerted authorities, but there was still one big problem.

“That male who was off the road, really didn't know where he was,” Collins said.

With the victim unable to provide his location, and with the car totally hidden from view, police began searching, but it was something police knew the victim had in his car that ended up leading them to the ditch.

“We were able to get involved and determine his location by the GPS coordinates on his cell phone,” Collins said.

Police say the victim was rescued from Rice Road and taken to the hospital around 6:30am Friday.

“Luckily he did have the engine running, he did have heat but we believe he was down there for approximately four hours,” Collins said.

The ditch, just near Lock 8 and a gated entrance, where at night, there was no one around.

“We're definitely glad he had his cell phone with him and we were able to rescue him quickly,” Collins said.

Police say the driver appeared to have suffered minor injuries. We're waiting for a call back on his condition.

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