NewsNational News


Man survives week in crashed truck atop dead friend

Posted at 7:26 AM, Dec 05, 2013

CANON CITY, Colo. (KCNC) - A Colorado man stuck in a wrecked vehicle with his dead friend for a week is now talking about how he survived.

The ordeal began when the truck Rick Koester was riding in last month crashed and fell down a 30-foot embankment. The impact pinned Koester inside the truck.

"I remember waking up after the truck was already wrecked, waking up four or five times," Koester said."[I was] thinking I was in a dream. In my mind I was thinking 'why can't I get out of this piece of junk truck?'"

For six days Koester could not move. He was stuck laying his friend, the driver, who died in the accident. Koester had no food, no water, no coat and no gloves. Doctors said his body was only 79 degrees when he arrived at the hospital.

Rick Koester was randomly rescued in a chance encounter with highway workers.

"God, it was a miracle. God made me survive," he said.

Surgeons amputated both of Koester's legs below the knee. He lost fingers and pints of blood. He was near death as family arrived from out of state.

"The doctors kept telling me he probably won't make it, not that he might not make it," Koester's mother Barbara Dial said. "Nobody can prepare a mother to see their son like that."

Koester does not remember the crash. His mother told him what happened when he woke up. Doctors told Koester it would take months to recover and more time after that to be fitted for prosthetics.

"This is our second chance with him," Dial said. "I don't know what he's meant to do, but its going to be spectacular. "

Koester was found and rescued by Colorado highway workers who happened to be called out to fix a fence near the crash site.