VALLEJO (CBS SF) – Aaron Clark, his body shattered by a tumble down a hiking trial cliff near Vallejo, was slowly dying.
It had been three days since the Rio Linda man’s fall and as he laid at the base of the 200-foot cliff he heard the voices for the first time since his accident. With his remaining strength, he became to yell.
“He was extremely grateful,” said Shaun Bouyea with the California Highway Patrol. “He told me he went to hell and back and thought he was gonna die.”
Two men on horseback from a nearby cattle ranch were riding through the area when they heard someone yelling for help.
“The guy was telling me ‘Help me, help me.’ I said, ‘I can’t see you, where are you?’” Jose Bidreles told CBS Sacramento.
His injuries while not life-threatening if they were treated on time, were substantial. He had a fractured femur, a partially collapsed lung and dislocated knee.
“When he came towards the bottom, he tumbled multiple times,” said Kevin Brown with the Vallejo Fire Department of his injuries.
Bidreles stayed with Clark and called for help.
Vallejo firefighters drove a 4×4 up the mountain and hiked the rest of the way up to reach Clark. At the same time, a CHP helicopter that happened to be in the area also responded. They airlifted Clark to an area hospital in 19 minutes.
While Clark is on the mend, his mother – Jodi – is grateful to the responders and the men who found him.
“I’m grateful he was spared and has no life-threatening injuries,” she said. “Knowing how strong he is and how he endured it all and survived is a miracle.