THRILLING TALES OF SURVIVAL AND TRIUMPH THAT CAN CHANGE LIVES ‘IN AN INSTANT’
Docudrama Series Returns for Third Season, Premieres June 3 on ABC
Relentless blizzards trapping a family in the wilderness, a gunman taking hostages at the local library, a family held captive in a home invasion. It can happen anywhere at any time. In an instant, life can change forever, and that moment can define who you are.
Returning for its third season, “20/20: In an Instant” retells heart-pounding, first-hand accounts of the world’s most harrowing tales of survival by bringing them to life through breathtaking dramatizations. The powerful series features gripping interviews with the people whose lives were on the line and those who were instrumental in helping them survive. Ordinary people stared death in the face and outlasted tremendous odds. What key decisions did they make to save themselves?
“20/20: In an Instant” premieres on SATURDAY, JUNE 3 (9:00-11:00 p.m. EDT), and runs for seven consecutive weeks through July 15 on The ABC Television Network.
On the premiere episode, airing Saturday, June 3:
“In an Instant: Whiteout”
Just days after Christmas in 1992, Jim, a 21-year-old marine pilot, his wife, Jennifer Stolpa, and their five-month-old son, Clayton, were preparing to travel from Northern California to Idaho for a funeral. They weren’t expecting to encounter a major blizzard that would strand them for days and force them to use every ounce of strength they had to survive.
After severe snowstorms closed off their route on Donner Pass, Jim and Jennifer tried to find a shortcut through Nevada’s remote backcountry. Ultimately, they couldn’t escape the unrelenting blizzard and their truck became bogged down in snow about 200 miles north of Reno. They stayed for three days shivering in their pickup, doing everything they could to keep warm, before they began a three day, 20-mile trek through the wilderness and deep snowdrifts to find help. Eventually, they found a small cave on the side of a cliff to shelter themselves.
With little to keep Jennifer and Clayton warm, Jim trudged the 20 miles back to the truck. After another night’s rest, he followed his truck’s tire tracks even farther to a small town they had passed during the drive, telling himself along the way “I have to make it so they can make it.” Jim was found on the side of the road by David Peterson, a Washoe County Road Supervisor, and driven to David’s home. Jim gave David the necessary information to find Jennifer and Clayton who were soon found alive in the cave and brought to safety.
“20/20: In an Instant” is executive produced by Maria Awes and Andy Awes for Committee Films in association with ABC News’ Lincoln Square Productions. Rudy Bednar is executive producer on behalf of Lincoln Square Productions. (ABC | KL)