66-year-old Idaho man pinned to tree for 3 days in ATV accident survives, authorities say

PHOTO: Howard Coates survived for three days pinned between an atv and a tree until he was rescued.PlayKootenai County Sheriff's Office/Facebook
WATCH News headlines today: Aug. 22, 2019

A 66-year-old Idaho man survived an ATV crash that pinned him to a tree for three days, according to authorities.

Howard Coates was initially reported missing after he left his home in Athol, Idaho, around 7 p.m. on Aug. 8 to go for a ride on his 2004 Camo Bombarier Outlander ATV and never came back, according a release from the Koontenai County Sheriff's Office.

Coates was wearing pajama pants and no shirt, authorities said the next morning, noting that he had "some medical problems" and did not have his medication with him.

PHOTO: Howard Coates survived for three days pinned between an atv and a tree until he was rescued. Kootenai County Sheriffs Office/Facebook
Howard Coates survived for three days pinned between an atv and a tree until he was rescued.

After three days of searching by foot and air, rescuers found Coates, who had been involved in an ATV accident that was not visible by road or air, the release states.

Coates told Fox Spokane affiliate KAYU that what was supposed to be a quick ride turned into more than 72 hours being pinned to a tree. After he crashed the ATV, he rolled down the hill while still on it and became trapped.

"I couldn’t move an eighth of an inch in any which direction," he told the station. "I was frozen."

Coates propped a toolbox cover off the ATV to shield himself from the rain and catch some water for drinking and thought about past concerts he'd attended to keep himself occupied, he said. He was later found by his brother, his son and members of Kootenai County Search and Rescue.

He said he has "never been so happy to see them," describing the moment as an "apparition."

"I knew that my son was going to find me," he said. "I just knew it."

PHOTO: Howard Coates survived for three days pinned between an atv and a tree until he was rescued. Kootenai County Sheriffs Office/Facebook
Howard Coates survived for three days pinned between an atv and a tree until he was rescued.

Coates was then airlifted to a local hospital to be treated for non-life threatening injures, authorities said.