A wife who was prepared to die with her husband in the desert owing to the latter’s mistake, spoke for the first time about the ordeal.
For 68-year-old Dianna Bedwell, it was a nightmare that came true when her husband, 79-year-old war veteran Cecil “Paul” Knutson, took a wrong turn and ended up in the desert. The Fullerton couple, both retired school bus drivers, were heading from a casino to a son’s home near Palm Springs, California for a Mother’s Day dinner. When he tried to turn around after realizing his mistake, the car got stuck on a rock.
When his parents didn’t arrive, Robert Acosta approached the authorities, who in turn launched a large scale search and rescue operation. However, searches on land and from the air failed to spot the white Hyundai Sonata because it was completely hidden from sight by large trees, reported The Press Enterprise. Searching for the Fullerton couple was like searching a needle in a haystack.
Knowing their dwindling odds, the husband and wife, who were both diabetics, rationed their supplies and tried to survive on rainwater, a butter cream pie, and 8 pounds of oranges.
Knutson initially tried to move around with the help of his cane. However, his feeble attempts at being seen from a rescue plane passing overhead were futile and eventually, both became too fragile to even move. After two full weeks of suffering sleep deprivation, starvation, exhaustion, and fatigue, Knutson, a Marine land mine demolition expert in the Korean War, breathed his last breath, said his wife in an emotional speech at his memorial service.
“My husband was sweet and kind in his final days and seemed to know when he was about to die.”
The wife also spoke about her husband’s death.
“He just fell asleep. I thank God for that. There was no pain, no anger.”
Asked if she was angry with her husband, Dianna said she had forgiven him and had no such negative emotions about the man, whom she was married to for 29 years,
“I told him, ‘Honey, we all make mistakes. We all make wrong choices.’ That’s all that was. We had 29 wonderful years together. If we make it out, fine. If we don’t make it out, fine.”
An autopsy confirmed the war veteran died of a heart attack caused by narrowing of blood vessels. But what’s heart wrenching is that his wife was prepared to die beside him if help didn’t reach. “After Knutson died peacefully, he sent angels to rescue me,” she said in her first ever public appearance post the tragedy.
[Image Credit | Stan Lim/The Press-Enterprise via AP]