Elderly Florida man trapped in car for 3 days

May 8, 2013 7:53:56 AM PDT
A man walking by a Pasco County home saw a hand waving to him from the window of a car parked in the garage. As he walked up the driveway, he heard a muffled voice.

"I can't get out of my car," Justyn "Jay" Ambrozia, 90, called out. "Can you help me?"

Tim Weidman called 911.

Turns out Ambrozia had been stuck inside the car for three days, after falling during a shopping trip to Publix supermarket on April 30.

Ambrozia fell as he rounded a corner that day, according to The Tampa Bay Times. He pulled up on a shelf, which gave way and his left side hit the ground. He broke his wrist and hip.

Employees helped the man to his car and he managed to drive home. He backed his car up the driveway and into the garage, but couldn't pull the door handle because of the searing pain in his swollen wrist.

Publix spokesman Brian West said he doesn't know the exact day Ambrozia fell in the store, according to the paper. He said Publix was investigating the incident and had contacted Ambrozia.

Ambrozia's car battery died as soon as he got into the garage, so he says he couldn't honk the horn. But he used the remote to open and shut the garage, hoping to catch a neighbor's attention. That attempt failed, and three days passed. He watched a postal worker walk by, but the man didn't hear his muffled cries.

The newspaper reported that Ambrozia ate the groceries he'd picked up. Ice cream cones, Fig Newtons and pound cake. But he didn't have any water.

"Jeez, it's been three days," he remembered thinking. "I hope I don't die in this car."

Neighbors in the community north of Tampa recalled Ambrozia as a caring and very active man. He is a retiree from Scranton, Pa.

On Tuesday, Ambrozia was recovering in the Medical Center of Trinity.

He told the Times he is an Army veteran, who was drafted after the Pearl Harbor attacks and was a buck sergeant in the 30th Division of the 119th Infantry. He said the last time he remembers being stranded was when he and his troops got lost in Paris for six hours during World War II.

Ambrozia said the experience prepared him for what happened last week.

"I can't complain," he told the Times. "When something like this happens, it happens."