In a blizzard in Buffalo, a young nurse named Anndel Taylor was found dead in her car: "She was a block of ice."
A student nurse who died in the huge snowstorm that hit upstate New York sent scary videos to her family while she was stuck in her car. She was found dead about 24 hours after she sent the videos.
Anndel Taylor, who is 22 years old, was trying to get home from work at a Buffalo hospital on Friday when she got stuck in what Gov. Kathy Hochul has called "the blizzard of the century," her mom told The Post on Tuesday.
The nurse from Mount Vernon sent updates to her family in North Carolina for the rest of the day. These included scary videos that showed how she was stuck in her car as the snow kept getting higher.
One just before 4:15 p.m. on Friday, showing all of the snow on her windows. Then, just after midnight on Christmas Eve, she sent a final one in which she rolled down her ice-covered window to show a nearby van with its emergency lights on that was also stuck in the blinding blizzard.
"She was talking to [her sisters] and telling them that she had called 911 and was scared," Taylor's mom, Wanda Brown Steele, told The Post.
But "the rescue people told her that everything that was trying to get out and help was also getting stuck," said Taylor's mother, who moved from New York to Charlotte when her daughter was just two.
"At first, I didn't know much because my kids didn't want me to be worried. But then they showed me the video, and I started doing what it said," she said.
Taylor told her three sisters in North Carolina in her last messages that she was going to sleep while she waited for help, and if it didn't come, she would try to escape on foot.
But when she didn't answer her phone the next morning, her family "tracked her to her car," her mother said.
"If she was saved, she would have called to make sure no one was worried about her. She knows my number.
"So we knew something was wrong at that point," her mom said.
Brown Steele called Taylor's family in the Buffalo area, including her sick father, who she had moved in with last year to help with his dialysis treatments, and asked them to try to find her in her snow-covered car.
Taylor's mom said that a family friend saw her car but thought at first that no one could still be in it.
"When he went out there for the third time, he broke the window and found her in the car," she said, adding that her body was found about 24 hours after it was first known that she was stuck.
But Taylor's family thinks she probably died of carbon monoxide poisoning because snow covered her exhaust pipes while she slept with the engine running to stay warm.
Her mother told The Post, "I think she went peacefully."
She was laying back with her arms crossed and her foot on the dashboard. It looked like she was sleeping.
But even after Taylor's body was found, her mother said, "the police didn't get there until late Christmas Day afternoon." This meant that Taylor's body stayed in the car for another 24 hours.
Instead, a volunteer from a makeshift group called "The Buffalo Blizzard" went and told Brown Steele, "She was not going to leave my baby out there alone, even if she had to sit there all night."
The volunteer FaceTimed Taylor's family at one point. , Brown, Steele said, "I saw my baby lying there, and she was frozen. She was as cold as ice."
The mom said that the unidentified volunteer then helped some of Taylor's relatives move her body to her car so that she could finally be taken to a hospital.
Some of Taylor's sisters wrote on social media that multiple calls to 911 didn't help.
Even though the storm was the worst it had ever been, her sad mother said she doesn't understand why help didn't come in time.
She asked, "That's a state, that's a city, where this happens all the time. Why weren't they ready?" "From Friday until Christmas, my baby sat out there."
Shawnequa Brown said that the tragedy happened not long before Taylor's 23rd birthday on January 13 and while she "still had presents under the tree" for Christmas.
The family is trying to get her body back to Charlotte, where they moved when Taylor was 2 years old. As of Tuesday afternoon, an online fundraiser has raised nearly $20,000, which is much more than the $12,000 goal.
"We're trying to get her here because I want her here with me," her mom said of her daughter, who was a "kind person who helped anyone in need."
Sylvia Taylor, Taylor's grandmother, told WSOC-TV, "It's so easy to ask, 'Why, God? Why?'" But we aren't always supposed to know the answer."
One of Taylor's sisters, Shawnequa Brown, wrote a series of heartbreaking tributes to the student nurse online. The coolest, funniest, and most honest little sister ever!"
She wrote, "I'm so sorry, I would have done anything to be there with you."