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Trapped and dying in desert, Kansas man leaves behind love notes

Posted at 10:12 AM, Oct 30, 2013
and last updated 2013-10-30 10:12:44-04

MANHATTAN, Kan. — A Kansas man who police think fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into a ravine in Utah, spent his last hours of life writing love letters to those he loved and left behind.

David Welch, 54, hopped into his maroon Pontiac van on Sept. 2 and drove for hours. Without expressing where he was going, he kept on driving, police say.

kansas-letter[1]Nearly seven weeks later, a hitchhiker found him in a deep, isolated desert patch in Utah, hundreds of miles from his Kansas home.

The car was overturned and in a deep ravine, about 850 miles away from his home on a deserted section off of Interstate 70.

Straight tire marks led off the road down to where his vehicle crashed, authorities said.

It didn’t appear like he was braking or attempting a turn, just that he went straight off the road, said Cpl. Todd Johnson, a spokesman for the Utah Highway Patrol.

Authorities believe Welch fell asleep while driving, sending the car crossing into the ravine and rolling onto its passenger side, CNN affiliate KSNT reported.

Welch sat in his mangled car for days, maybe weeks, police say. Nights became days, then weeks, then over a month.

welch[1]His family contacted police the day after he left when he didn’t return home. Four days later an official missing persons report was filed.

As his family searched for him, he was trapped in his car, scribbling his last words.

What is in the letter is private, authorities say. But the notes have been handed over to Welch’s family.