Published on May 12th, 2012 | by Kim LaCapria0
Elderly Couple Perish in Catskills Crash After Nine Dropped Calls
It’s often said that AT&T calls, particularly on the iPhone, are dropped more reliably than they connect, but tragedy resulted earlier this month in the Catskills due in part to spotty cellular coverage in the region.
It’s not entirely fair to blame the tragedy in which an elderly couple lost their lives entirely on cell phone service or lack thereof, as the frailty of the victims as well as weather and the remote area in which they crashed their car played a part in the accident’s sad outcome. 88-year-old Arthur Morris and his 89-year-old wife Margaret Morris had been driving near their Catskills vacation home in Andes on March 3rd after a day of heavy rains when the vehicle, a Ford Fusion, slid into a ditch.
According to the New York Daily News, the car “rolled less than 15 feet down a steep embankment, hit a sapling and came to rest atilt on the driver’s side.” In the area of notoriously weak coverage, the couple tried five times in quick succession to reach emergency services. All calls failed.
At this point, Arthur Morris attempted to climb out of the vehicle, but fell in his attempt to escape it. Due to the way he landed, he began to suffocate, and was dead within ten minutes. A distressed Margaret Morris then managed to escape the vehicle, falling and suffering a “gash” to her head. She made a subsequent four calls to 911, again not connecting, before struggling with her cane to walk the quarter-mile to a neighbor’s home.
Unfortunately, the neighbors had already left their house, also a vacation home, and Margaret sought shelter under a nearby tarp, where she died during the night. The couple’s bodies were discovered the next morning by hunters, and state policeman Alan Ferrara remarked:
“In 19 years, I haven’t seen anything like this. It was just a fender-bender.”
Family of Arthur and Margaret Morris told the paper that given the very avoidable circumstances in which the couple died, they feel it “wasn’t their time to go.”