It Was a 'Lazy Day.' They Saved a Man Who Was Near Death

Man and son-in-law looking for fishing holes spotted a mangled truck
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 27, 2023 11:20 AM CST

The day after Christmas was a "lazy day" for Mario Garcia and son-in-law Nivardo De La Torre. Garcia's wife was working and his daughter was out, so the pair decided to scout a few Indiana fishing holes, ending at Salt Creek. CNN reports that as the men finished up, they saw something shiny under an I-94 bridge. As they got closer, they realized it was a mangled truck—with someone in the driver's seat. Garcia thought the man was dead and touched his shoulder. "He swung around," Garcia said. "He woke up."

The man inside, Matthew Reum, 27, told the men he'd been stuck there since a Wednesday crash. Unable to reach his phone, he tried shouting for help, to no avail. "The will to survive this crash was nothing short of extraordinary," said state police, who noted that temps got as low as 29 degrees and said Reum drank rainwater to survive. He "had almost lost all hope because nobody was there," said Garcia. Reum was eventually freed and taken to a hospital with "severe, potentially life-threatening injuries," per police.

As for how Reum ended up there, police believe his truck ran off the interstate for an unknown reason. A rep for the Indiana State Police says, per NBC News: "His vehicle missed that guardrail, so he's driving on the grass shoulder before he goes airborne. His vehicle goes down into the creek, where he rolls several times. It rolled underneath the bridge." There were no reports of a crash, and the rep says the vehicle was hidden from view, per CNN: "I looked over that bridge, and you can't see it. I walked down on the east side of the terrain, and I am looking and I still couldn't see it." (More uplifting news stories.)

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