81-Year-Old Stuck In Snow Survives Nearly A Week On Croissants

March 10, 2023

An 81-year-old man survived on water and croissants for nearly a week alone in his car, stuck in a snowbank on a desolate California highway.

elderly man rescue
Inyo County Sheriff's Office

On Feb. 24, Jerry Jouret set out on a 3-hour drive from his mountain house in Big Pine, California, to his family home in Gardnerville, Nevada.

Jouret was aware that a storm was coming, but "didn't think it was gonna be as bad as it was", his grandson Christian said.

His SUV got stuck in the snow after he accidentally veered onto a smaller road.

A light quilt and a hotel bath towel were the only things Jouret had to keep himself warm. Fortunately, he had some water with him and had purchased croissants from a local bakery before making his trip.

"He had water that he carries in his vehicle and obviously he could get some snow," Lt. Nathaniel Derr told Fox Weather. "We have a famous bakery in town, Schat's Bakery. He was getting those before he went on his trip. He bought a box of croissants from them and he started rationing them and just eating small bits of the croissant to get him through."


Jouret conserved his vehicle's gas and battery, only turning the SUV on periodically to warm up. But midway through the third day, his car battery died while he was rolling the electric window back up. It remained open a few inches for the duration of his unfortunate adventure.

On Feb. 28, Inyo County Search and Rescue (InyoSAR) received a call for a missing person. Due to the severity of the storm, search missions were delayed.

Then, on March 2, a cell phone ping identified by a California Highway Patrol (CHP) team helped narrow the search area.

A helicopter pilot spotted something he initially thought was a large rock. A closer look revealed a vehicle – and the pilot spotted an arm waving out of the small opening in the car window.

elderly man rescue
Inyo County Sheriff's Office

"The CHP crew loaded the person onboard and transported him directly to Bishop Airport for transport to medical care. The person was determined to be the subject of the search. The subject was discharged from the hospital later that evening," InyoSAR said in a statement.

"The success of this mission was the result of the many volunteers who commit their personal time to serve as members of Inyo County Search and Rescue, the Inyo County Sheriff’s Office, CHP Inland Division Air Operations, Caltrans District 9, as well as many members of the community - both near and far - who offered planning, logistical, and moral support."

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