Woman suffers frostbite after SUV crashes, burns
WOODLAND PARK — An SUV exploded when the driver used gasoline from the wrecked vehicle to fuel a fire and stay warm after it careened off a road, through trees and over boulders, a newspaper reported Friday.
Sandy Mileto, 43, suffered a fractured back and severe frostbite on her hands and feet when the crash went undiscovered for six hours in a remote area of Teller County, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.
“It was all snowy and freezing,” Mileto remembered from her bed at Pikes Peak Regional Hospital in Woodland Park on Thursday
Mileto decided to make the fire for warmth using the gas and a sweater. Before the explosion, she crawled away from the vehicle and began her almost paralyzing journey up to the highway, where she saw headlights approaching from a vehicle that was being followed by a deputy.
Mileto had been heading to a casino on Tuesday and took her cell phone, matches and a lucky coin that her boyfriend had given her.
After the crash, she tried to make a call but couldn’t get any reception in the remote area south of Divide.
She said she struggled to climb a few hundred feet after the SUV mowed down several aspens, jumped a set of 10-foot tall boulders and left long skid marks for another 50 feet to 100 feet before getting launched again, dropping another 25 feet.
A Teller County deputy said overnight temperatures were close to zero degrees in the canyon where Mileto found herself stranded with one shoe missing and only a blanket to keep her warm.