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Ind. man rescued, trapped in crash for nearly a week

Matthew Reum was pinned in the wreckage, underneath the I-94 bridge, since Dec. 20


Indiana State Police

By Cliff Pinckard

PORTAGE, Ind. — A man stuck in his wrecked pickup truck under a highway bridge for nearly a week was rescued Tuesday when he was discovered by two fishermen walking along a creek.

A news release from the Indiana State Police says the pickup driver, Matthew Reum, 27, of Mishawaka, Ind., likely had been stuck in the upside down 2016 Dodge Ram truck under an Interstate 94 bridge over Salt Creek since Dec. 20 and drank rain water to survive.

“The will to survive this crash was nothing short of extraordinary as it was also determined that Mr. Reum was able to drink rainwater for hydration in order to survive for such a long period of time while being exposed to the elements,” police say.

Police say the two fishermen were walking along Salt Creek at about 3:45 p.m. scouting for fishing holes when they spotted the wrecked truck. When they got to the truck, they saw Reum inside and he appeared to be lifeless.

But when one of the fishermen touched Reum, he turned toward them and began speaking, police say. The fishermen then called 911.

Police say it was a “lengthy” process by firefighters to remove Reum from the truck. He was flown by helicopter to Lutheran Air to Memorial Hospital in South Bend, Ind., with severe, life-threatening injuries.

A preliminary investigation shows Reum was driving west on I-94 when he left the road for unknown reasons, traveling into a ditch. The truck missed a protective guardrail, then overturned into the creek under the bridge. Reum was pinned inside the truck and unable to call for help.

“Had it not been for the two individuals that were walking the creek this afternoon, this incident more than likely would have had a different outcome,” the news release says. “There had not been any prior reports of a crash in this area prior to the fishermen finding the vehicle.”

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