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This Guy Was Trapped In His Cadillac XLR For 14 Hours

Accident / 39 Comments

Worst of all, the incident happened in his own garage.

In what must be one of the most unusual stories of the year, according to the Detroit Free Press, Cleveland, Ohio resident Peter Pyros got stuck in his 2006 Cadillac XLR roadster for 14 hours last month as it sat parked in his garage. What happened, exactly? The ordeal started on August 31 when the car simply failed to start. This resulted in the electrical system shutting down which in turn locked him inside. The following 14 hours were horrible for Pyros, 75, who previously survived cancer and a stroke.

Pyros figured it would be a nice day to take his XLR for a spin before summer came to an end. "I had started the car a couple weeks earlier and backed it out, then I put it back in the garage," said Pyros. "I was going to do the same thing, but then go for a little ride." But on this morning when he went to hit the push-button start, nothing happened. He figured putting the key fob into a slot would get the car started, but that also didn't work. He also had two new key fob batteries stashed in the center console, so he figured replacing the batteries would do the trick. Again, nothing. The engine remained silent. And because the now discontinued XLR has buttons instead of traditional door handles, they didn't work. That's what happens when an electrical system, in this case a dead one, controls just about everything, including the windows. Even the horn failed to work.

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The power top is also electrically operated and, unfortunately at that very moment, was not lowered. "It was getting really hot and it was difficult to breathe — this was all within a half hour," said Pyros. "I was trying to find something to get me out of the car. Nothing worked. I started to scream as loud as I could." Another unfortunate factor is that Pyros lives alone, and his neighbors were already at work for the day.

No one could hear him pounding on the car's windows screaming for help. He was convinced he was going to die, especially since it was a hot day. Pyros says the temperature reached over 100 degrees inside the XLR. "I came to the conclusion that I was going to die," said Pyros. "I was at peace with it. I asked God to help me twice, then I said, 'OK, God if this is the way I'm supposed to die, I will die.'"

It was not until almost 11:30 p.m. that night when he happened to see his neighbor entering the garage. You see, Pyros' garage door had been left open and his neighbor tried calling him to tell him, but Pyros left his cell phone inside the house. When Pyros didn't return his neighbor's phone call, the guy got suspicious and came over to check.

Rescuers quickly arrived on the scene and they instructed Pyros to pop the hood from the inside, which fortunately has a manual release. The rescuers were then able to jump-start the engine, which allowed for the doors to open. Pyros was taken to the hospital for the night to recover. GM, in response to this incident, claims that it always provides ways to manually unlock doors, and "drivers need to review the door lock section of their owner's manual." Unfortunately for Pyros, his owner's manual was inside his house. If it was in his car's glovebox, he could have read how to break free: his Cadillac XLR has a manual door release on the floor.