Patrol: 19-year-old did "everything he could" to save mother in snow storm

Brandon Conrad

The Nebraska State Patrol says 37-year-old Lisa Conrad died from exposure after leaving her stranded vehicle during the recent snow storm. Conrad's 19-year-old son Brandon remains in stable condition at the Box Butte General Hospital where he is being treated for hypothermia and frostbite.

Conrad's car became disabled approximately one mile south of Berea on Highway 385 late Monday night as she was returning home from work in Alliance. Conrad was last heard from around 12:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 9, when she called her husband to say she and their son were leaving the vehicle to walk to their home in Berea.

She was on her way home from Alliance, where she worked at Burlington Northern-Sante Fe Railroad.

"In talking with Brandon, we were able to learn he walked from his family's home in Berea to where his mother's car was stranded," said Captain Mike Gaudreault, Troop E Commander. "He and his mother then left the vehicle and attempted to walk back to their house, but became disorientated in the blinding snow and never made it."

At some point Lisa Conrad was unable to go on. Her body was located around 5:40 p.m. Tuesday in a field approximately half mile west of Highway 385 off of Johnson Road by local resident’s searching the area on snowmobiles. Brandon Conrad was able to make it to an abandoned farm house about two-and-a-half miles away. He was found alive by the snowmobilers.

Captain Gaudreault said, "This is a very tragic situation. Brandon did everything he could to help his mother. He is a brave young man, and we are thankful he is alive. Our hearts go out to the Conrad family."

Gaudreault also says there is no indication alcohol was involved.

He says the situation emphasized the importance of heeding warnings to stay in your car when stranded in such dangerous weather conditions and make every effort to be in a safe place when such weather occurs.

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