Spotty Cellular Service Linked to Elderly New York Couple’s Death - News - @ JEMS.com


Spotty Cellular Service Linked to Elderly New York Couple’s Death

89-year old Morris used her walker to go a quarter of a mile to find a home.


 
 

| Monday, May 14, 2012


ANDES, N.Y. (AP) — An elderly Manhattan couple whose car became stuck near their wooded Catskills vacation home died after nine fruitless attempts to make a cellphone call for help and after the woman searched in vain for a neighbor.

Arthur Morris, 88, slid their car down an embankment 60 feet from their vacation home on May 3 in Andes, about 115 miles northwest of New York City, according to state police and relatives.

Family members said Friday that Morris tried to get out but became wedged between the tilted car and the ground and was asphyxiated. His wife, 89-year-old Madeleine, walked with her cane to an empty neighbor's house and died of exposure after a rainy night sheltering under a tarp on the patio. Her family didn't know whether she also had tried walking home.

"She walked a quarter-mile to the neighbor's house and there was no one there," Madeleine's grandson Jeantet Fields told the New York Daily News, which first reported the story. "It was a vacation house and they had left the day before."

Cell service is spotty in the rural area and calls made by the couple to 911, Madeleine's son and a neighbor did not go through.

Hunters found the husband's body the next day and searchers soon after found the wife's body on a neighbor's patio, according to police. The low temperature would have been about 48 degrees May 3 and it was raining, the National Weather Service in Binghamton said.

Arthur was a Juilliard-educated music teacher who had heart disease and a hernia. Madeleine was a retired professor who survived the Nazi occupation in France and had two knee replacements, the Daily News reported.

"What really has me choked up the most is the circumstances they died in," Fields said. "Given the lives they lived, they should have had a better way out than that."

Madeleine's son, Ronald Fields, told The Associated Press they'd been married for 49 years and met in Providence, R.I., where his step-father taught at a private school and his mother taught 18th century French culture at Brown University. She retired in 1990 from the City University of New York system.

"They were great people, extraordinary people," Fields said Friday.

"As a teacher, she tried to open people's minds," he said of his mother, describing how she brought to bear the lessons and experience of growing up in Europe between the world wars.

Morris was a "very private, reserved person" who taught music and music appreciation at a Long Island school district before retiring in the early 1970s. He enjoyed reading and the vacation cabin was full of books, Fields said.

He said the family agreed to share the story of his parents' deaths out of concern for others who may be put at risk by gaps in cell phone coverage.

"If some good can come out of her death, that will be something else she contributed to the world," he said of his mother.



Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: News, dispatch

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Car Strikes Manhattan Pedestrians

Seven people hurt when car jumps curb.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >