The slow-speed crash did little damage to the car or the Morrises. It occurred as Arthur was negotiating a hairpin turn at the end of their driveway and miscalculated, causing the car to slide off the road and into a ditch.
The Morrises then tried to make five calls in quick succession. None of them connected. While no one will ever know for sure, it's believed that at that time, Arthur tried to exit the vahicle, but due to the car’s angle, as he opened the door, he fell. His body was wedged into an eight-inch space between the bottom of the door and the ground.
Arthur Morris apparently asphyxiated there.
Madeleine Morris then picked up the cell phone again and tried four more calls to 911 and a neighbor. There was still no connection.
Madeleine Morris covered herself with a blue plastic tarp from a nearby woodpile and spent the nigth on the patio, with temperatures dipping into the low 50s. As of the morning, she was dead of hypothermia.
Her son, Ron Fields, 66, said that she could have survived if she had broken into the house. “She could have smashed a window. There were logs there. But I don’t think that ever would have occurred to her.”
No jokes here about AT&T, the iPhone, and dropped calls. It is, however, ironic that Jeantet Fields said he had given his grandparents, the Morrises, a cell phone on the AT&T network because he felt that would give them the best chance at receiving a signal in that area, Andes, which is a small mountain hamlet with no towers of its own.
One tower may go up in nearby Margaretville within a year. Meanwhile, a site has been identified in Andes, but it will probably take two years to get service there.