A state highway crew clearing 10-foot snowdrifts from a rural road uncovered what they thought was an abandoned car. Then they looked inside.
Eugene Zerbe had spent 41 hours trapped inside his car in a rural area north of Lebanon. He was unconscious when the road crew found him Friday. He revived when a helicopter arrived to take him to Hershey Medical Center, where he was treated for hypothermia and slight dehydration.
On Monday, Zerbe walked out of the hospital feeling fortunate.
The 57-year-old machinist said he left work in Myerstown on Wednesday afternoon and took a different route home to Pine Grove because of heavily falling snow. He said traffic became "all bogged down" and he got stuck in Berks County.
"Almost 30 years I've been going back and forth to work and never thought anything of it," he said. "It's only 20 miles. But it's a long 20 when there's snow in the middle of it."
He said he got out of the car a few times but was unable to walk far because of the snow. A farm house was about 300 yards away but he couldn't see it in the falling snow.
"After a while you couldn't open the door anymore," he said. "In a matter of hours, it was really covered."
He had no blankets, food or water.
"I prayed a lot, I'll tell you that," Zerbe said. "And I thought, "How am I going to get in touch with my wife to let her know where I'm at?' "