A 22-year-old woman died while waiting in her car in Buffalo, New York, during the historic winter storm.
Anndel Taylor died over the weekend after her car became stranded in the snow on her way home from work on Friday afternoon.
Taylor sent a final video to her family from inside her car the day before she was discovered dead from what her mother believes was carbon monoxide poisoning rather than hypothermia, though a cause of death has not yet been determined.
It showed her car stuck in the snow as a terrifying wind howled outside shortly after midnight on Saturday.
The video sparked desperate pleas from her friends and family who begged strangers states away to help locate their missing loved one, who was eventually found sometime after Saturday afternoon. The exact date and time is unknown.
Taylor who was born in Buffalo but raised in Charlotte, North Carolina, moved back to New York earlier this year to take care of her father.
The 22-year-old’s mom and sister spoke with WCOS in North Carolina about the agony of receiving the terrifying video and the waiting afterward
Taylor told her family members in a family group chat that she was stuck in the snow on her way home from work, and that the snow was falling fast.
Taylor rolled down the snow-covered window to reveal a wintry landscape in the 16-second video.
‘She was telling my sister she was scared,’ said Taylor’s sister, Shawnequa Brown.
The camera pans out to show several feet of snow under the car and another stranded vehicle just across the street.
The snow and cold are whipping through the air in the otherwise silent night.
Her family told local media in Charlotte they did not know the extent what western New York was going to experience.
‘I don’t know if any of us really knew how serious it was, we didn’t see the news, we didn’t really know what was going on in Buffalo,’ said Brown.
As of Monday evening, 27 deaths across Erie County, the county where Buffalo is located, have been confirmed.
In total, nationwide, 57 people have died in weather-related incidents during the historic ‘once in a lifetime’ storm.
Taylor’s family stated that she had dialed 911 and was waiting for first responders who were unable to contact her when she sent the video.
Taylor’s mother, Wanda Brown Steele, told WCOS that her daughter planned to sleep out the storm in her car before walking home the next day.
Taylor, on the other hand, was discovered dead inside her vehicle just hours later.
Her family believes she was trapped for up to 18 hours before her body was discovered.
Taylor’s other sister, Tomeshia Brown, said some people had tried to rescue her and her vehicle but attempts were futile.
‘I feel like everybody that tried to get to her got stuck. Fire department, police, everybody got stuck,’ said Tomeshia.
‘Why didn’t they have chains on their tires? This is a state that is known for snow,’ the sister continued.
Local law enforcement officials have yet to confirm Taylor as one of the victims of the storm, nor has her cause of death been released.