When Matthew R. Reum drove his truck off the road and into a river on Dec. 20, he thought he’d met his end.
After six days stuck in his 2016 Dodge Ram, hidden under a bridge from traffic passing overhead, he was even more convinced the end was near.
But that’s when two men looking for a good fishing spot saw something shiny through the trees and eventually saw his wrecked vehicle there, according to The New York Times.
Reum, 27, wasn’t alone in thinking that he was a goner. Mario Garcia and Nivardo Delatorre, the would-be fishermen who found him, figured he had to be dead as well.
But when Garcia pushed aside the truck’s deployed airbag and touched what he thought was Reum’s lifeless body, the accident victim suddenly woke up.
“He was very happy to see us,” Garcia told reporters at a news conference, according to the Times. “I’ve never seen a relief like that.”
Delatorre immediately went up the hill to the highway to seek help for Reum, a native of Mishawaka, Indiana, about an hour away from where he was found in his truck.
Sgt. Glen Fifield of the Indiana State Police told reporters it took “quite a bit of time” to set Reum free from his wrecked vehicle, according to the Times.
Once freed, Reum was airlifted to a hospital 50 miles away with “severe, life-threatening injuries,” according to the outlet. However, his condition was upgraded from “critical” to “serious” the following day, a hospital spokeswoman told the Times.
Investigators said Reum somehow missed a “protective guardrail” when he drove off of I-94 westbound for reasons that were not reported.
Police said that there were apparently no witnesses to the accident, which apparently happened around 11:00 p.m. on Dec. 20, or at least no one contacted authorities to report one.
Even had such a report been made, the truck’s position under the bridge made it very difficult to spot — as evidenced by the fact that it sat there for six days unnoticed.
“So he’s driving on the grass shoulder for a good length of time before he goes airborne, down into the creek, where he rolls probably several times,” Fifield said
“Quite frankly, it’s a miracle he’s alive,” he added.
Had it not been for the unseasonably warm weather, Fifield added, its unlikely Reum would have survived.
“I don’t see any way somebody could’ve seen him,” Garcia said.
“It was just very fortunate that we had seen through the cracks of the woods the shining of the wreck.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.