Woman Found Inside Buried Car after South Lake Tahoe Snowstorm

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE -- It's a story that happened in South Lake Tahoe but it comes with a warning to anyone in a car where it's snowing.

"We’re glad that this didn’t end in a tragedy like it could have," said city spokesman Chris Fiore.

The precautionary tale is from Feb. 17.

After wandering around the casinos, a 48-year-old homeless woman got into a friend's car along Cedar Avenue near the state line.

During a snowstorm, she fell asleep in the car.

Over the next five hours, or possibly longer, a combination of fresh snow and snow that was being plowed buried her inside.

"We're actually very fortunate, as is she, that we bumped into her car," said Ray Jarvis, director of the Public Works Department in South Lake Tahoe.

At 8:35 a.m., a Public Works plow truck made contact with the car but it would take a bit longer before crews knew that car was not empty.

"The Public Works Department and the police officers grab shovels and started digging out the driver's side. You know, once the woman put her hand on the glass it startled them," Stevenson said. "Then, you know, everybody started digging like they had a purpose."

The woman would tell officials she was trapped but after being rescued was otherwise OK, even denying medical help.

During a snowstorm, there is no street parking within city limits. The car the woman was in was going to be towed when she was discovered.

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