Transcript for Man Endures Body Frozen to the Ground for Almost 8 Hours
Next, tonight, an astonishing story of survival in the polar blast. A man stuck in the ice. His body stuck and frozen to the ground under his truck for almost eight hours. Abc's alex perez on how his last hope led to his rescue. Reporter: The sun had not yet come up monday morning when tim rutledge pulled his 18-wheeler into this truck stop in whiteland, indiana, to avoid the roads covered in black ice. But he could have never prepared for what happened next. It's a story that's hard to tell. Reporter: The arctic cold froze the truck's brakes. So, rutledge went under the truck to manually release them. That's when the truck lunched. Pinning his left arm between the axle. For almost eight hours, rutledge was stuck under the truck. Although he yelled, no one could hear him. The windchill, nearly 40 degrees below zero. His clothes froze to the ice and snow on the ground. It was so cold and the wind was blowing so much, I went to blink. And my right eye froze -- the eyelid froze shut that fast. Reporter: Back home in florida, his panicked wife calling him over and over. His phone in his pocket on vibrate. That's the only morning he never really called me. I still can't believe that he didn't. Reporter: All those vibrations caused the phone to fall out of his pocket. Using his free arm, he stretched his frozen fingers, desperately reaching and pushing buttons, until he activated the voice function and called his boss. Paramedic david gabert quickly arrived and started looking for rutledge. It's like finding a needle in a haystack in a snowstorm. Reporter: Paramedics pulled him out. I couldn't hold on any longer. That was the last thing i remember saying. It was a load and go and get him to the hospital. The doctors and the nursing staff were telling me, you know, you're -- it's a miracle that you're alive, as long as you were out there. Reporter: Rutledge was released from the hospital today, lucky to be alive. Surviving an experience frozen in his mind forever. Alex perez, abc news, chicago.
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