Colorado Logger Pinned by Trailer Amputates Own Toes

Logger drove into a remote part of Colorado when something went terribly wrong.

ByABC News
September 1, 2011, 3:53 AM

Sept. 1, 2011— -- A 61- year-old Colorado logger who found himself trapped beneath a trailer that pinned his right foot did the unthinkable and amputated three his toes to free himself.

Jon Hutt had driven his logging truck into a remote part of the western Colorado near the town of Montrose on August 19. He was attempting to retrieve a pile of fallen Aspen trees to cut up for winter firewood near when something went terribly wrong.

Six tons of machinery fell off of the truck and pinned him.

"The trailer started to slide. It pinned my right foot right in there," Hutt told ABC News as he pointed to his foot with a crutch. "When I tried to move it, the pain would get worse."

Hutt was trapped, completely alone, and in unimaginable pain. With no cell phone service and no help, and after 30 minutes and with no other choice, Hutt took out his three-inch pocketknife and began amputating his toes.

"I cut off my boot to see my foot, and once I realized how bad it was, I started cutting off my toes," Hutt told the Associated Press.

"I wanted to do it before I went into shock or dropped the knife or something like that," he said. "So I started cutting. I cut some, and then it was pretty painful, so I stopped to take a breath or two, and keep cutting until I finally got it cut off."

Hutt later drove to a parking lot by the nearby Ridgway Dam, where an ambulance arrived to take him to Montrose Memorial Hospital, the Grand Junction Daily Sentinel reported.

Hutt is hardly the first person to resort to self-amputation when facing their own mortality. Last summer Jonathan Metz was in his Connecticut basement when his left arm became stuck behind a furnace he was repairing.

After being trapped for 12 grueling hours, Metz, 31, said that it became clear what he needed to do once he could smell the flesh of his crushed arm beginning to rot: he amputated his arm with the blade of a power saw.

"As luck would have it I had the blades I would use with some of my power tools," he told reporters from a hospital in 2010.

He described floating in and out consciousness during the ordeal and drinking water leaked from the furnace. He said he used a bloody flip-flop to scoop up the water.

Metz decided to saw through his bicep, halfway through his elbow and shoulder. The amputation went well, he said, until a massive amount of blood began to spill from his arm and the tourniquet he'd fashioned became ineffective.

When paramedics found him, they pried the furnace open, using a spreader typically used to remove injured people from car wrecks, and completed the amputation.

Doctors said that the decisions that Metz made, particularly to cut away at the dead tissue which released toxins that were circulating through his body, are what ultimately saved his life.

And who could forget Aron Ralston? His amputation of his own arm inside a desolate Utah canyon was the inspiration for Danny Boyle's 2010 Oscar-nominated film "127 Hours" starring James Franco.

While mountaineering in Blue John Canyon, Utah, Ralston became trapped when a boulder dislodged and pinned him next to a canyon wall. After being trapped for six days, Ralston finally cut off his right arm to free himself -- an ordeal that took an hour and was performed with his two-inch knife.

Ralston chronicled the experience in his autobiography "Between a Rock and a Hard Place."