Tuesday, November 24, 2020
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Minnesota man trapped underneath a fallen tree for 4 days is rescued

A Minnesota man was cutting down trees behind his home when one that fell trapped him underneath for four days, authorities said.

Jonathan Ceplecha, 59, was rescued Monday after the Redwood County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call about a person stuck underneath a tree, the department said in a Facebook post. Ceplecha had been trapped since Thursday, Aug. 27.

His son, Miles Ceplecha, wrote in a GoFundMe that the 59-year-old was on a hill in the woods behind his house in Redwood Falls, about 120 miles southwest of Minneapolis, when an oak tree that he was cutting fell on him.

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“In a split second due to a freak accident, both of his legs were suddenly pinned down under an immovable log and his upper torso was now semi-twisted as he sat upright on the ground,” his son wrote. “His legs were broken instantly and he was in enormous pain but, with no phone on him and because he lives alone, there was nobody to hear or see him.”

Jonathan survived by eating plants and insects and drinking his sweat and rainwater that he collected in his clothes, according to Miles.

“He kept his sanity by breaking down every day into hours, and each hour into 5-minute segments. As someone of a heavy faith, he prayed to himself often, and tried to distract himself from panic by meditating and inventing rhythms to follow from dawn to dusk,” the GoFundMe states.

Family members had became worried when Jonathan wasn’t answering their phone calls and didn’t show up for work. Jonathan’s ex-wife found him on his property and contacted the sheriff’s office.

It took nearly two hours for authorities to extricate Jonathan from underneath the tree. He’s now recovering in a hospital.

“I’m still in shock,” Miles Ceplecha told NBC affiliate KARE in Minneapolis. “We’re all still in shock that he’s alive and that he was out there by himself.”

Sheriff’s ffice Chief Deputy Mark Farasyn said he was amazed that Jonathan, a veteran, was able to survive.

“He had the will to live, and he wasn’t ready to go,” Farasyn told the outlet. “I don’t know many people who could survive an ordeal like that.”

Image: Minyvonne BurkeMinyvonne Burke

Minyvonne Burke is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.


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