Yesterday, the Daily News published a heartbreaking story about a Manhattan couple, Arthur and Madeleine Morris, who died after getting into a car accident at their Catskills vacation home: "Arthur, 88, was smothered trying to crawl out of the Ford Fusion, while brave wife Madeleine, 89, trekked to a road but died of exposure after a rainy night under a tarp." And they tried to call from their cellphone—nine times—but there was no service, seemingly dooming them to their circumstances.

On May 3, Arthur Morris, Juilliard-educated music teacher, drove down his driveway and, according to the News, "was negotiating a hairpin turn at the end when he slid off the road and into a ditch. The car rolled less than 15 feet down a steep embankment, hit a sapling and came to rest atilt on the driver’s side, state police said." It's believed that after the couple tried calling for help five times, Arthur tried to get out, but with the steep angle and the car's position, he fell and was "wedged in an 8-inch space between the bottom of the door and the ground." He was asphyxiated.

The family says that Madeleine Morris, who helped Jews escape Nazis when she was a teen in France, tried calling four more times, but then left on foot for help. She reached the vacation home of a neighbor, a quarter of a mile away, but the neighbor wasn't home, so she waited outside. Grandson Jeantet Fields told 1010 WINS yesterday, "When [my grandmother] was found the next day around noon, she was found soaked and she had actually pulled a plastic tarp over herself to cover herself. The medical examiner said that she was in excellent health and had a good 10 years left, but on the inside she showed definite signs of exposure." He told the News, "She could have smashed a window. There were logs there. But I don’t think that ever would have occurred to her."

Fields added, "None of the calls went through. As best we can surmise, they probably tried to get out of the car because they couldn’t get any help on the phone." Here's AT&T's coverage map with the couple's location. Capt. James E. Barnes, of the New York State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation, told WCBS 880, "There’s been a problem for a long time, but it plagues law enforcement as well as the general public because of the remoteness of it and because the terrain. I don’t know what the solution would be," noting that radio reception was also bad.

Political officials and local phone companies have tried to encourage big carriers to add more service. Fields is hopeful, "If anything can come from this tragedy, it’s lets actually let people in rural areas have the same type of thorough cell coverage that we have in urban areas."