US driver rescued after 6 days trapped in truck wreckage, Latest World News - The New Paper

US driver rescued after 6 days trapped in truck wreckage

WASHINGTON – A man who crashed his truck under an Indiana bridge and was pinned for nearly a week in the wreckage has been found alive in what was described as a miracle.

Two men scouting for fishing holes Dec 26 in Salt Creek, near the town of Portage, were hailed for discovering the gravely injured man, who told them he’d been trapped in his vehicle under the I-94 highway since Dec 20 – six full days.

They called for help and, after a challenging rescue from the deep ravine, the man in his late twenties was airlifted to a South Bend, Indiana hospital with what police described as potentially life-threatening injuries.

The drama began when the man’s pickup swerved off I-94, about 60km south-east of Chicago, plunged down the ravine, rolled across the creek and wedged itself under the bridge, according to Indiana State Police Sergeant Glen Fifield.

The man drank rainwater but could not call for help as his phone was out of reach.

“This is a miracle that this gentleman is alive today, and that these two gentlemen just happened to be on that creek,” Sgt Fifield, standing next to the fishermen-rescuers, told a press conference late on Dec 26, in the Midwestern US state.

Mild Christmas holiday weather was a major factor in the man’s survival. But with the temperatures dropping considerably overnight into Dec 27, “I don’t believe that he would have made it through the night,” Sgt Fifield said.

The fact the man was discovered in time was its own miracle. With the wreckage all but invisible from the busy traffic lanes above, no one had reported an accident.

Even another group of fishermen who waded through the water earlier had failed to spot the crashed truck.

But Mr Mario Garcia did. He and his son-in-law were walking the creek, seeking out new spots to fish, when they noticed something shiny on the bank.

“I looked inside and moved the white airbag, and there was a body in there,” Mr Garcia told reporters, saying he had believed the man was dead.

“I went to touch it, and he turned around. And that – it almost killed me there, because it was kind of shocking. But he was alive,” he said.

“He was very happy to see us... I’ve never seen a relief like that.”

US media, citing Indiana police, later identified the driver as Matthew Reum, 27. – AFP

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