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'I just want to wake up from this dream' | Longtime Charlottean dies during blizzard in Buffalo, New York

Anndel Taylor was on her way home from work Friday when she got stuck in the storm.

BUFFALO, N.Y. — The state of New York was hit hard with a brutal winter storm over Christmas weekend. The blizzard dropped more than 50 inches of snow. Sadly, more than two dozen people died because of it.

One of those who died was Anndel Taylor, a nursing assistant from Charlotte. Taylor was not born in North Carolina, but her family said she grew up in the Queen City.

Her family told WCNC Charlotte Taylor was on her way home from work Friday when she got stuck in the storm. Her family said she made several calls for help, but hours went by, and nothing came of it. She was found in her car the next day but it was too late, and she died just a month shy of her 23rd birthday.

Her mother, Wanda Brown Steele said she is struggling to cope with this tragedy.

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“It’s like I just want to wake up from this dream,” said Wanda. “She was just so sweet.”

Taylor was trapped in her car for several hours. She was able to communicate with her family using her cell phone, even sending them a video of the blizzard she was in.

“Around 12 a.m. she texted us the last video showing the snow was pretty much up by her stomach,” said Tomeshia Brown, her sister.

Credit: Family of Anndel Taylor
22 year-old Anndel Taylor died in NY blizzard.

That was the last time Tomeshia said she heard from her sister. She said with her car completely covered in snow, she believes Anndel died of carbon monoxide poisoning.

“She was in a position where she was comfortable inside the car when they found her body,” said Tomeshia. “She had on scrubs and crocks and no coat on; she didn’t freeze.”

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Loved ones described Anndel as a protector and a caretaker. She moved to New York to go to school and help her dad, Handel Taylor.

He called her brilliant and smart.

“She came here for a better life and she ended up giving us a better life,” Taylor said.

“She went all the way to Buffalo to take care of her father and no one was there as far as rescue responders to help her,” said her mother.

Her family in New York said they did all they could to get to Anndel, but couldn’t make it through all of the snow.

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“We'd just been trying all day, just to go get her back-to-back. I tried in my car,” said her half-brother, Michael Taylor. “My car got stuck before it even got out. We tried again in my uncle's car. It actually got out, but we got stuck like two blocks down. Later at night around, like 10, 11-ish, I was in my mom's Ford pickup truck. So that was the last car we had and even that got stuck.”

Her body was found by strangers Saturday night who were able to get in contact with the family, who had also taken to social media for help.

Anndel’s family said the same stranger who found their daughter had a truck and drove them to her so they could bring Anndel to the hospital.

“She was brave. She was always there for us,” said Michael. “If you needed anything my sister had it. You could always depend on her.”

“This has been really hard for us. She was the youngest one but she had the oldest soul,” said Tomeshia.

The family created a GoFundMe page to help with the costs of the memorial service so they can say their final goodbyes.

Contact Jesse Pierre at jpierrepet@wcnc.com or follow her on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

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