Even though he has survived cancer, a stroke and has successfully undergone nine surgeries, 75-year old Peter Pyros found this latest ordeal his most challenging one yet, becoming trapped inside his 2006 Cadillac XLR for nearly 14 hours.
It all started on Friday morning, August 31st, when Pyros decided to take his convertible Cadillac XLR for a spin while the weather still allowed for top-down driving.
According to the Washington Post, the man first intended to start the car, before walking back to the house, getting a change of clothes and heading back to take it our for a drive around the neighborhood. He also didn’t have his mobile phone with him, nor did he tell anybody where he was going.
After getting in the car, Pyros shut the door (which locked) and pressed the push-to-start button. When nothing happened, he tried putting the key fob into a slot, but was again unsuccessful to start his XLR, despite having replaced the batteries in the fob. After about 30 minutes, it became clear that he was in serious trouble due to the heat.
“It was the most horrifying experience you can imagine, said the 75-year old man. “I accepted, at some point, that this is how I’m going to die.”
He also wrote “This is a terrible death, I can’t get out of the car”, on a piece of paper, hoping that whoever found him wouldn’t think that he committed suicide.
During his time in the XLR, he tried everything from punching out the window with his fist, kicking out the glass with both feet, even pressing his mouth to the door and screaming for help. Unfortunately he didn’t have any tools or sharp objects he could have used.
There were multiple moments in which he passed out, waking up thinking that he couldn’t believe he was in this situation – a 75-year old man locked inside his own car, falling in and out of consciousness and having to urinate on his shoes.
At one point, he came to accept his fate and became more calm.
All’s well that ends well
Thankfully, this story takes a turn for the better as without the man’s knowledge, his neighbor heard him making noises and proceeded to send him a text message. When he didn’t get a response, the neighbor jumped the fence and saw that Pyros’s garage door was open. After learning what happened, the neighbor called 911 and firefighters arrived on the scene soon after.
The way they got him out was by telling him to pop the hood so that they could jump the engine and power up the car.
Meanwhile, GM released a statement about the incident saying that “any vehicle or key fob can lose power” and “that risk can increase as the vehicle ages.”
“Manufacturers provide a way to manually unlock the doors if the vehicle or fob loses power. Because this varies by make and model, drivers should review the Door Lock section of their owner’s manual so they will know what to do. In the case of the XLR, there is a door release handle located on the floor, next to each seat.”
It’s safe to say, Pyros had no idea about the handle, and according to him, even if he would have attempted to read the owner’s manual, it would have been too steamy inside the car for him to see properly.