60 on 6: The survival of a North Dakota teenager, stranded in a blizzardFargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- As we get ready for a real cooker outside tomorrow, hard to think of sub zero temperatures and blizzards.
By: Kevin Wallevand, WDAY
Fargo, ND (WDAY TV)-- As we get ready for a real cooker outside tomorrow, hard to think of sub zero temperatures and blizzards.
But as we mark our 60th Anniversary here on WDAY TV this summer, a look back at some of those stories that so many remember.
Tonight, the survival story of a North Dakota teen-ager, stranded in a blizzard. His name, Bennett Stebleton.
The fact that 16-year old Ben Stebleton survived the blizzard and 32 below temperatures is itself miraculous.
He got stuck, tried to shovel, rocked it back and forth. Killed the engine. And it would not start.
Wearing a light jacket and stocking cap, his car became stuck in snow. Just a few miles from his rural Egeland home. He sat there for two and a half days.
Benn Stebleton- Survived Blizzard: "Search party came to save me, thankful for those who came."
Wind chills reached 80 below. Ben even wrapped himself with floor mats in order to stay alive. He read the ND road map and the car's owner's manual to pass the time. He knew if he left the car he would die in the storm.
With no heat in his car, tempertaures became so cold, frost bite set in he would lose both legs, and parts of his fingers. Renowned burn surgeon Dave Todd had to break the news.
Dr. Dave Todd- WDAY Archive 1989: "It is tough, no one could ever say that is not hard to tell a young person they are going to lose both feet."
He was a trooper in therapy working to overcome the challenge before him. Today, this is Ben Stebleton. Now living in Denver, he works with the Americorp Program a project for underprivileged or troubled youth.
"A way to give back, feel like you are doing something for the community."
Despite the physical challenges, Ben bikes and is an artist in Denver.
"I think if I didn't have the thumb I would still do artwork, art doesn't come from the hands, it comes from the soul."
Persevering, 24 years after a north dakota winter changed his life after nearly taking it.