Man Frozen to Ground for Hours Shares Survival Story
Indianapolis, IN (WXIN) — If you’d asked truck driver Tim Rutledge last week if he believes in miracles, he might have laughed you off. Yet, lying in a hospital bed, telling his miraculous story, may have changed his mind.
“Somebody’s looking out for me. I don’t know how I wound up being so lucky,” Rutledge said.
Rutledge is a truck driver from Orlando, Fla. He was on his way to Indiana with a delivery when this week’s winter storm hit.
About 6 a.m. Monday, after the snow passed, Rutledge was staying at a truck stop in Whiteland. His brakes were frozen, so he went under the truck to fix them. That’s when the truck shifted in the snow.
“It caught my left side and my left arm was pinned by the axle of the truck,” Rutledge said.
He was stuck in below-zero temperatures, unable to move.
“I wound up being frozen to the pavement in the snow,” Rutledge said. “As I got colder and colder, I was yelling but nobody could hear me.”
That’s where that miracle – or maybe something more – came in.
Rutledge’s phone was in his pocket and he was getting frantic calls from his wife. It kept vibrating and moving, eventually dropping to the ground.
“When the phone did finally come out, it came in front of me instead of behind me,” Rutledge said.
Too cold to actually dial the phone, he somehow got his voice function to work and got the phone to make one call.
“I remember saying, I said, ‘Whoever this is, whatever you do, don’t hang up the phone,” Rutledge said.
It was his supervisor on the other end of the line, and when they figured out where he was, they called the truck stop and employees there called 911 and then went out to try to find him.
“I said, ‘I just can’t hold on any longer,’ and that was the last thing I remember saying,” Rutledge said.
Employees did find Rutledge and got EMS employees to him. They had to cut him out of his frozen clothes, but amazingly he will be out of the hospital soon.
Rutledge had this message to the people who sprung into action to find him and save him just in time.
“Thank you very much to every person involved, especially the people there at the Pilot store and the EMS people that crawled under there in the freezing weather and dug me out,” Rutledge said.