Last week, Joe Latta ventured out to the end of his driveway during a blustery Wisconsin blizzard to retrieve his mail. Little did he know, the short trek would nearly cost him his life.

While Joe tried to get his mail, he stumbled into a snow bank, unable to free himself. But things got much worse when a snow plow passed by, pushing a mound of snow on top of him. According to KZTV10, he laid there, buried head-to-toe in snow, for four hours before an uneasy feeling spurred a neighbor into action.

Betsy Nelson says she looked out her window and thought she saw a small animal burrowing in the snow. “I thought something is not right. I just didn’t have a good feeling,” she said. She called her neighbor, off-duty firefighter Todd Herrington, who went to check it out, discovered Joe and began digging him out.

After returning home from the hospital, Joe humbly characterized his ordeal “fairly frightening.”