MOUNT BALDY, Calif. --A 24-year-old man was rescued from inside his car near Mount Baldy, two days after the vehicle veered off the side of a road, officials said.
Los Angeles County firefighters responded about 2:55 a.m. on Jan. 25 to an area near the Barrett Stoddard Truck Trail after being informed by the California Highway Patrol that a vehicle had apparently plummeted nearly 75 feet from the road above.
Hunter Kittle was found suffering from a broken leg, broken wrist, a collapsed lung, several broken ribs and skull fractures. Rescuers carried him up the mountain, after which he was airlifted to a hospital.
He spent three nights in his wrecked Toyota 4Runner before being pulled to safety. Authorities said he was driving along the windy Mount Baldy Road, heading down the mountain around 6 p.m. on Jan. 22.
At some point, Kittle fell asleep, veered across the road down a steep hill, flipped over crashed into a tree, authorities said. But Kittle's family said he hydroplaned before veering off the road and crashing.
"It was horrible, horrible pain. I was thinking, either kill me now or get me off this mountain, because I can't do this," Kittle told Good Morning America.
Kittle was in and out of consciousness the whole time and his cell phone died. He tried crawling up the hill and yelling for help. But since he was seriously injured, cold and hungry, he returned to the shelter of his SUV.
"I'm surprised I even survived myself. I don't know how I pulled it through those cold nights, you know?" Kittle said.
He was later reported missing. It wasn't until a passing driver spotted the car on the side of the hill that authorities came to the rescue.
"Mainly it was mind over matter, me willing myself to live long enough to get down that hill one way or another. I didn't want that to be the final chapter in my life," Kittle said.
His family set up a GoFundMe account to receive help paying for medical expenses. If you want to donate, you can head to www.gofundme.com/wxevggrk-hunters-road-to-recovery.