ELYRIA- An amazing story of survival. A man is rescued after falling off a cliff, into a steep ravine. He survived for four days with broken bones and was able to crawl hundreds of yards to find help.
"I'm happy he's alive, just shocked that he lasted that long," said Assistant Chief Joe Pronesti with the Elyria Fire Department.
Firefighters in Elyria were stunned when they responded to a call around 8:30 Monday morning. They found a man at the Spring Valley Country Club, which is closed as the golf course undergoes renovation. Firefighters say Gerald Muskiewicz told them he had been hiking on Thursday when he fell over a cliff.
"It could be anywhere from 30 to, there are some 60 to 100 foot drops, depending on where you fall," said Pronesti.
Muskiewicz told authorities that he first fell into the Black River.
"He was able to survive that to begin with, survived the fall and you could have hypothermia, he had two badly broken legs, broken arms, chest injuries," said the assistant chief.
Despite having serious injuries, he tried to find help.
"From where he fell to where we found him, it's over 300 yards that he had to crawl, there's no way he walked with...he had injuries to his upper legs, both of them," he said.
Firefighters say when they found Gerald, he was completely naked.
"He said he took his clothes off to stay, keep from hypothermia...to do that, all that being busted up, there no better word...it's amazing," said Pronesti.
Elyria firefighters say the man's story is one of the most amazing stories of survival they've seen.
"To be there for four days, you look at the weather we've had, we've had some rain, it's been chilly at night, I'm shocked that he survived, absolutely amazed," said Pronesti.
The man was life-flighted to MetroHealth Medical Center, where he is currently being treated.