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Salmon Arm  

Couple spent 15 days living in their truck after it broke down on side of highway near Armstrong

15 days living in truck

A Shuswap couple spent 15 days living out of their broken down truck on the side of the highway after its engine blew near Armstrong.

A Good Samaritan in Salmon Arm has taken the couple in temporarily, but they still face a struggle to get their lives back on track.

Madeline Husanik says she and her husband Zoltan had been living in their fifth-wheel trailer at a campground near Sicamous, but the lot was recently sold.

They had moved to the site in November last year and acquired the RV without a vehicle to tow it.

"The lot sold, and we were told we had to move," says Zoltan. "We couldn't find anywhere to move it. We made a temporary move to the Yard Creek campground and then looked around for a truck to move it."

The couple bought an inexpensive, older truck to make the move and were on their way to the RV when it broke down just outside Armstrong.

They were in beach attire, without a phone and other possessions and no one to help them.

They were able to get a tow truck driver to move the truck off the highway a short distance at the Fortune Creek rest stop, where they spent the next 15 days trying to get their lives back in order.

Zoltan, who had heart surgery last year, slept in the cab while Madeline slept in a tent in the back of the truck.

Meanwhile, their trailer got towed from the campground for "being abandoned," and the owner of the impound lot wants "almost $2,000 to get it back."

The Husaniks allege damage was done to the RV in the process, including smashing a window to gain access.

"All we had with us was the clothes we were wearing," says Madeline, who picked up a cheap used barbecue and walked into town for food during their ordeal.

"We washed in the creek and are covered in sores from all the black flies," she said.

She also walked all the way to Vernon to buy a cellphone so the couple could begin making calls to get out of their predicament, and had to walk into Armstrong daily to get fresh ice to keep what little food they had cold.

"My purse, everything, was still in the trailer," she said.

Salmon Arm resident Claudia Boschmann heard about the couple's plight and on Monday took them into her own home until they get back on their feet.

Another woman had stopped by their truck and brought water and bug spray.

"It feels good to have a proper night's sleep and so nice to finally have a shower," Madeline said Tuesday, calling her Good Samaritan "wonderful."

Boschmann took the couple to the food bank and said "these folks need their home back and their lives."

"What an angel," said Madeline. "We were really starting to break down, emotionally."



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