A Southern California man who crashed his truck into a steep ravine recalls the terrifying ordeal and miraculously surviving five days without food or water.
The crash left 68-year-old Calvin Smith trapped and severely injured in a Kern County backcountry area on Aug. 29.
As Calvin was driving to his home in Ridgecrest that day, his truck suddenly went over an embankment and fell down about 100 feet into a grassy ravine below.
Calvin was ejected out the window during the impact and suffered a broken back and ribs. Unable to move, he lay there, praying he would soon be found.
“I was terrified,” Calvin recalled. “I kept asking God, saying, ‘Please don’t let me die out here.’ It was ice cold at night and burning hot during the daytime.”
As the days dragged on, he was beginning to lose hope. But suddenly on the morning of Sept. 2, help had arrived in the form of two dirt bikers.
“I could hear him yelling for help,” said Cory Sizelove, a good Samaritan.
Sizelove and a friend happened to be passing by when they heard Calvin yelling for help. The bikers carefully made their way down the ravine and to the wreckage where Calvin was.
“I just gave him water and tried to shade him from the sun a little bit while [my friend] was on the phone with 911,” Sizelove said.
Kern County firefighters responded and rescued Calvin from the brush area using a rope and basket system.
Sizelove also called Calvin’s wife, Dee Dee, to let her know her husband was alive and being rescued.
“I’m so grateful,” Dee Dee said. “Those five days were the worst days of my life. I’m just grateful that I have my husband back.”
Calvin is a father to 10 children, 44 grandchildren and over a dozen great-grandchildren. He’s thankful to be alive and able to see his family again.
“Thank you,” Calvin said to everyone who helped him. “God bless you guys. Thank you so much for saving my life.”
Although Calvin said he’s still in a lot of pain, he’s getting stronger by the day and slowly walking again. He has a long journey to recovery ahead, but he’s thankful to be alive and surrounded by loved ones.