Officials in northeast Ohio say a hiker is lucky to be alive, after he was four days on the bottom of a ravine before crawling hundreds of meters to seek help.
“I am happy that he is alive, just shocked that he lasted that long,” Elyria Fire department Assistant Chief Joe Pronesti told Fox 8 Cleveland.
Firefighters is a naked Gerald Muskiewicz at a country club on Monday. He told rescuers that he had fallen over a cliff and into the ravine on Thursday.
“It can be anywhere from 30, there are about 60 to 100 foot drops, depending on where you fall,” Pronesti said.
Muskiewicz told the authorities that he initially fell into the Black River.
“He was able to survive, which to begin with survived the fall and you could be hypothermia, he had two badly broken legs, broken arms, chest injuries,” Pronesti said.
Muskiewicz said he tried to find help, despite his injuries.
“From where he fell to where we found him, it is more than 300 metres that he had to crawl, “Pronesti said. “There is no way he ran…he had injuries to his thighs, both of them.”
The assistant chief said Muskiewicz had taken off his wet clothes in an attempt to prevent hypothermia.
“To be there for four days, you look at the weather we’ve had, we have a little rain, it is cold at night, I’m shocked that he survived, absolutely amazed,” said Pronesti.
Muskiewicz was airlifted to a local hospital, where he was undergoing treatment.
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