LAS VEGAS (AP) - A 76-year-old diabetic Colorado man survived 10
days in the remote Nevada desert by melting snow and using skills
he learned as a Boy Scout, but a friend who was with him and
ventured away to get help died.
James Klemovich and Laszlo Szabo, 75, went to scope out some
mines in the state when their car became stuck on a lonely road
with no cell phone service, Klemovich's wife, Joanne, said
The men tried unsuccessfully to dislodge the car, and lit flares
and started fires in hopes somebody would see them in northwestern
Nevada's Pershing County, an area where less than 7,000 people are
spread over 6,000 square miles.
They used a towel in the car to strain ditch water and snow into
water bottles, but, after four or five days, Szabo left to get
help. Joanne Klemovich began to worry when several days passed
without a phone call from her husband.
"I figured maybe they'd had an accident and they were
stranded," she said. "I thought maybe they were in a mine shaft.
All kinds of things were going through my head."
Joanne Klemovich said she was expecting the worst when
authorities called Tuesday night to say her husband had been found
by military personnel who were holding training exercises in the
"I thought it was bad news, but it was very good news," she
said by telephone from the couple's home in Littleton, Colo. "I
didn't know what to even do or say."
James Klemovich has diabetes, wears a pacemaker and had a triple
bypass heart surgery, his wife said.
He told her he wasn't panicking while he sat for days waiting
for Szabo's return, she said. He kept a journal, noting how much
water he drank and what he did each day. And he wrote a letter each
day for her.
The military personnel found the Lincoln Town Car with Klemovich
inside. They gave him a banana, two mandarin oranges and three
boiled eggs, he told his wife. He was treated and released from a
Szabo, of Lovelock, Nev., was found dead about a mile and a half
away. An autopsy is being performed.
Klemovich said her husband hasn't been talking much about his
friend and that she doesn't know whether Szabo has any close
"When I first talked to him I could tell he'd been through an
ordeal," she said. "When he called back, he sounded pretty
James Klemovich is still in Nevada, waiting for the car to be
recovered before returning home.
Joanne Klemovich said she knows what she's going to say when she
first sees the man she has been married to for 48 years as of
Wednesday: "Happy belated anniversary," she said.