A woman built a fire and sat near her dead husband, a church minister, for two hours before being rescued after their truck rolled on a winter ice road near Bloodvein First Nation in central Manitoba.
The RCMP said John Weiss, 37, and his wife, Glenda, were heading to Bloodvein First Nation from Pine Falls when they hit a patch of ice at about 1 a.m. Tuesday, 10 kilometres east of the Loon Straits junction.
Weiss lost control of the pickup truck he was driving. It rolled and landed on its roof.
Glenda was able to get out of the truck but Weiss died at the scene, RCMP said. Alone in the remote area, Glenda made a fire to keep warm.
It wasn't until about two hours later that a passing motorist picked her up and took her to a nursing station in Bloodvein.
She was treated and released.
Blanche Hamilton was a passenger in a car heading to Bloodvein from a bingo game in a nearby community. The driver of her car spotted a fire at the side of the road.
The car was then flagged down by Glenda and Hamilton got out and rushed over.
"It was just like, 'Oh my God, there's been an accident.' I just felt sad and scared because I wanted to check to see if [Weiss] was really alive," she said.
"The vehicle was upside down and I called his name out three times and there was no response to him. And I knew then that he died."
Bloodvein First Nation Chief Roland Hamilton said Weiss started a church in the community in the spring of 2010. He was from the United States but had been living in Bloodvein.
Roland Hamilton said the community is devastated.
"He had a good ministry there. He was always there and a friendly guy; was always talking to somebody and said 'Hi' every time you saw him."
Winter roads not open
The winter roads in the province are not open yet and people are not advised to drive on them.
An unusually mild spell has made it difficult to build the temporary roads that remote communities rely on during the winter months.
The roads are byways carved through bush and across frozen muskeg, lakes, rivers and creeks to connect those regions with the rest of the province.
They enable trucks to haul in a year's worth of supplies, such as food, fuel and construction materials.
They won't officially open until January.