FARMINGTON, N.M. – A man who broke both legs when he fell into a northwestern New Mexico ravine crawled out onto a highway nearly three days later and was helped by a driver, authorities said.
Forty-eight-year-old Jeffrey Darling had called authorities for help from his cellphone early Tuesday morning, but he couldn’t tell them exactly where he had fallen and dispatchers lost contact with him when his phone’s battery apparently died, The Daily Times reports. A search for him was unsuccessful.
“When we started the search, we didn’t have much to go on,” said Deputy Chief Craig Daugherty of the San Juan County Fire Department. “We were scattered all across the place trying to find him.”
Darling remained hospitalized Monday and unable to speak with a reporter.
Sheriff’s Detective Lt. Cory Tanner and Detective Sgt. Brandon Lane of the Farmington Police Department said authorities believe Darling had vision problems and accidentally fell into the ravine.
Tanner said it was incredible that Darling survived the ordeal.
Darling apparently set a fire for warmth, but he told medics he badly needed food and water, Tanner said.