Trooper made life-saving find in car buried under snow

Sgt. Jason Cawley visits Kevin Kresen in the hospital after he discovered his car buried under a four foot deep layer of snow. (Photo/New York Police Department)

One New York man is lucky to be alive after a plowing incident left him trapped in the snowy cold for hours.

Kevin Kresen, 58, was trapped in his car for 10 hours early Thursday morning when a plow mixed with accumulating snowfall buried his car in 4 feet of snow.

On Wednesday, a snowstorm ripped through the Northeast, leaving mountains of snow piled high throughout the region. Owego, New York, the town in which Kresen was trapped, measured 41 inches of snow on Wednesday into Thursday. AccuWeather Meteorologist Tyler Roys said the amount of snow was unusual and record-breaking for the town.

Kevin Kresen was trapped in his Ford Fusion for 10 hours after a plow covered his car in snow. (Photo/New York Police Department)

Roys said the heavy snow continued to hammer the town until around 6 a.m. on Thursday morning, before the snow came to a complete halt at around 1 p.m. on Thursday. Overnight on Wednesday into Thursday morning, temperatures were in the teens.

According to The Associated Press, Kresen drove into a ditch around midnight on Thursday, where he then attempted to call 911 for help many times but was struggling to get through due to a patchy signal.

Kresen was able to be geolocated by dispatchers, but only within a three-mile stretch due to the struggles with signal.

Sgt. Jason Cawley, the New York State Trooper who discovered Kresen's Ford Fusion in the snow, climbed miles worth of snowbanks before finding the one with Kresen's vehicle buried underneath. At first sight, Cawley said he believed the snowbank looked like a row of mail boxes might be underneath.

The NYPD wrote on Facebook that the actions of Sgt. Jason Cawley saved Kevin Kresen's life after he was trapped in his car under a pile of snow for 10 hours. (Photo/New York Police Department)

"I reached in to find which address I was at when I punched the side window of a car," Cawley said. "I was a little shocked because I was actually standing almost on top of the car."

When Kresen was discovered by Cawley, he told the trooper he could not feel his feet. Crawley said hearing the voice, which he said was slurring, made his heart jump.


According to the New York Police Department (NYPD), Kresen was stranded in his car for 10 hours with absolutely no heat due to a broken serpentine belt.

"That's a very bad place to be when your body has stopped making heat and stopped trying to warm itself," Crawley said.

State trooper Sgt. Jason Cawley discovered Kevin Kresen's vehicle trapped under feet of snow on Thursday. (Photo/New York Police Department)

The state trooper found out after talking to Kresen that he was plowed in by a truck and left covered in feet of snow.

After being driven to an ambulance in a marked police car, Kresen was treated for frostbite and hypothermia at Lourdes Hospital.

According to the NYPD, Cawley's action in the incident saved Kresen's life.

"If he was in there for another hour, his body temperature would have gone lower and I'm convinced he wouldn't have made it," Cawley said.

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