Saturday 16 December 2017

Man, 84, survives desert ordeal

Henry Morello spent five days in the Arizona desert (AP)
Henry Morello spent five days in the Arizona desert (AP)

An 84-year-old American motorist spent five days stranded in a desert after getting lost while driving home.

Henry Morello drank the windscreen washer fluid, used car mats to stay warm and read a car manual from cover to cover to pass the time. He was finally rescued from the Arizona desert when a walker discovered him.

"I just kissed him," Mr Morello said. "He looked like an angel to me."

Mr Morello, who was taken to hospital for checks, described his ordeal as he recalled making a wrong turn while driving home on February 7 from a restaurant.

He became stranded while making made a U-turn and ended up in a ditch. His car and mobile phone battery went flat and he tried to walk to safety did not get too far and returned.

He ripped a chrome piece from his car and put it on the roof, hoping someone would see the reflection.

Overnight temperatures the week he was missing fell to between 4C and 7C.

The hikers who found him last Saturday morning were not identified.

Jim Sheehan, a search and rescue leader, said they knew of the missing man. "Nobody ever gave up" in the search, said Mr Sheehan, who was on a search plane when he got a call saying Mr Morello had been found.

Doctors at the hospital in Phoenix where Mr Morello was taken said he arrived in good condition considering what he had been through.

Press Association

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