A truck driver from Florida survived for eight hours pinned under his truck during this week’s icy cold temperatures thanks to repeated phone calls from his wife.
The Associated Press reports that driver Tim Rutledge was at an Indiana truck stop at about 4 a.m. on Monday trying to get ice off of his frozen brakes when his truck suddenly settled deeper into the snow, pinning him under an axle.
He lay there for eight hours, screaming for help. But windy conditions and idling engines of other truckers trying to keep warm during the record-setting cold temperatures meant his calls went unheard.
Meanwhile, his cell phone – in a pocket on his jacket he couldn’t reach – buzzed continually as his increasingly frantic wife tried to reach him. Finally, the buzzing was enough to send the phone tumbling from his pocket, where he could finally reach it and use its voice activation feature to call for help.
Although his body temperature had dropped to 86 degrees by the time he reached the hospital, Rutledge survived with minimal injuries. Doctors think the fact that he was under his truck helped shield him from the worst of the biting wind.