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Latino Daily News

Wednesday February 16, 2011

Man, 84, Survives 5 Days in Arizona Desert, Drinks Windshield-Wiper Fluid

Man, 84, Survives 5 Days in Arizona Desert, Drinks Windshield-Wiper Fluid

Photo: Henry Morello

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In Arizona, an elderly man survived without water for the better part of a week in the desert after he was unable to move his vehicle from a ditch.

Henry Morello was on his way home from his favorite restaurant when he got lost. Trying to turn around, the 84-year-old diabetic got his SUV stuck in a ravine. For the next five days, Morello survived by drinking windshield-wiper fluid and by using his floor mats to keep warm.

Morello said he used a rock to break open the wiper fluid container and a napkin to filter it. For food, Morello said he rationed his leftover pasta from the restaurant.

Realizing he was missing, two men who say they consider Morello an adopted grandfather organized ground and air searches. In all, about 75 volunteers took part in the rescue parties.

Eventually, Morello was found by some hikers.

“He looked like an angel to me,” he said about the unnamed hiker who knocked on his window.

On that fifth day, Morello said he thought to himself, “This is it… if they don’t find me today, I can’t last another night.”

Morello says that though he went through a amazing misadventure, he has no plans to stop driving.

“I want to drive again, but those guys want to take my car away,” he said. “They’ve got another thing coming.”