Buffalo woman found dead after being trapped in car during blizzard

The body of Anndel Taylor, 22, was found in her vehicle on Christmas Eve after she got stuck while traveling home in the New York snowstorm.

A family is mourning the death of a Black student nurse who was found dead on Christmas Eve after spending what they estimate to be close to 18 hours trapped inside her car in Buffalo, New York, during its severe blizzard.

According to The New York Post, Anndel Taylor, 22, was one of dozens of individuals who died in the devastating storm when she attempted to return home after working a shift at a Buffalo hospital.

“They have been found a number of different ways,” said Mike DeGeorge, spokesman for the Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown’s office, The New York Times reported. “They have been found in stranded vehicles, they have been found on sidewalks, near street corners, some have been found in snowbanks. Some have been found because some have been without power since the storm began.”

Anndel Taylor, 22, was found dead inside her vehicle nearly 24 hours after she informed her family in Charlotte, North Carolina, that was she trapped during the massive New York snowstorm. (Photo: Screenshot/YouTube.com/ABC11 News)

Before being found dead about 24 hours later, Taylor updated her family with several recordings via text message, according to The Post.

A video shot on Friday just before 4:15 p.m. showed her windows completely covered in snow. Then, shortly after midnight on Christmas Eve, she sent a final message in which she opened her car’s ice-covered window to reveal a van that was also trapped in the snowstorm and had turned on its emergency lights.

“She was telling my sister that she was scared,” said Tomeshia Brown, one of Taylor’s siblings, according to The Post.

Taylor stated in her last communications to her three sisters in Charlotte, North Carolina, that if rescuers did not show up, she would attempt to escape on foot. She planned to sleep while she waited for relief.

Wanda Brown Steele, Taylor’s mother, said the family knew something was wrong when her daughter didn’t answer her phone.

“The rescue people told her that everything that was trying to get out and help was also getting stuck,” Brown Steele recalled, according to The Post.

“If she was rescued, she knows my number — she would have called to make sure nobody was worried about her,” she added.

Taylor relocated to Buffalo from Charlotte two years ago to care for her ailing father. Her mother phoned family in the area to get them to look for her.

Brown Steele claimed that a family acquaintance saw her snow-covered car but believed no one could be inside. The third time he stepped outside, he busted a car window and discovered her in the vehicle.

“I think she went peacefully,” her mom told The Post.

Taylor’s family believes she most likely passed away from carbon monoxide poisoning as the snow accumulated on her car’s exhaust pipes while she slept inside with the engine running to retain warmth.

“She was laying back — she had her arms crossed and her foot up on the dashboard like she was peacefully asleep,” Brown Steele said of her daughter — who would’ve turned 23 on Jan. 13, according to The Post.

Taylor’s mother alleged that even after the family friend found her body, “police didn’t get there until late Christmas Day afternoon,” leaving it in the car for another full day. Instead, a member of an impromptu group dubbed The Buffalo Blizzard went to be by Taylor’s side and even FaceTimed her kin.

“I saw my baby lying there — she was iced,” Brown Steele recalled, The Post reported. “She was an icicle.”

Some of Taylor’s family members helped move her body to the volunteer’s car so they could eventually get her to a hospital. They are now trying to bring her body back to Charlotte.

Some of Taylor’s sisters claim on social media sites that they made several unsuccessful attempts to reach emergency help via 911. Even in light of the storm’s historic severity, her distraught mother claimed she was perplexed why assistance did not show up in time.

“That’s a state, that’s a city, that has this going on all the time — why [weren’t] they prepared?” Brown Steele asked, according to The Post. “My baby sat out there from Friday to Christmas.”

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