Buffalo Car In Ice: Car Frozen In Blizzard Finally Freed, Icy Shell Stays Behind

The Buffalo, New York, car in ice that went viral this week on social media with over 7,000 shares has finally been freed. A towing company out of Hamburg, New York, managed to remove the infamous “Ice Car” from its frozen shell on Wednesday. Photos of what remains have already hit Twitter. What appears to be half of the car that was once frozen in ice just south of Buffalo stayed behind in the form of an icy shell.

Social media users are wondering when the Buffalo car in ice will get its own Twitter account. Photos of what’s left of the frozen car have spread from Twitter to several news media sites not even a day after Lake Erie Towing and Recovery freed it. The Mitsubishi Lancer first went viral online after a weatherman for ABC affiliate WKBW, Matt Bové, out of Buffalo, New York, posted an image to his personal Twitter account early Monday morning.

Freezing temperatures, along with high winds and snow showers, had turned the car into a huge ice sculpture the previous night. The Huffington Post reported on Tuesday that the car’s owner, 24-year-old Justin Yelen, had left the car parked in a lot next to Lake Erie Sunday night, fearing he was too intoxicated to drive after drinking with friends at Hoak’s Restaurant on Lakeshore Road in Hamburg.

Waves from Lake Erie were thrown onto the car by nearly 50-mile-per-hour winds on Sunday night in upstate New York. Only one side of the Lancer got hit really hard, as shown by images tweeted by photojournalist Nate Benson on Monday morning. Benson captioned one image as the tale of two sides of the frozen car.

Much more ice covered one whole side of the car than the other, mainly due to how the car was parked and the direction of the winds. The driver’s side of the “Ice Car” appears as if it were carved completely out of a block of ice, while the actual car itself can be seen through only a sheet of ice on the passenger’s side. Bové said in a RT.com report that the car was frozen solid, and covered in several inches of thick ice.

“This is a frozen-solid car. I don’t even know if pictures do it justice… it seems like there are several inches of thick ice surrounding the car. You could see what was once a mirror, you can see there’s a spoiler at the back. I really don’t know how they’re eventually going to move this car. This is an image that’ll stick with me for years and years to come.”

Yelen left the car parked facing the lake on Sunday and expected there would snow covering it. According to Yelen, he checked on his car several times Sunday night as he sat at the bar in Hoak’s watching football. Employees reportedly told Yelen to move the car before he left Sunday night. Owner of the restaurant, Ed Hoak, said he’s seen several cars ice up over the years. Yelen didn’t expect to find his car in ice on Tuesday morning when he returned to Hoak’s restaurant.

Plans were to power wash the layers of ice from the car using cold water. Yelen also planned to free the tires using rock salt. Crews from Lake Erie Towing and Recovery ended up pouring salt all over the car to finally free it on Wednesday, leaving behind a huge ice encasement. John Hickey with Buffalo News shared photos of the remaining icy shell on Twitter. Social media users unanimously agree that Yelen did a good thing by not drinking and driving, but are now left wondering if the car will even still start.

[Image via YouTube screenshot]