Friends in Tennessee were driving their motorcycles through the Smoky Mountains on a stretch of road known as the 'Tail of the Dragon.' The road was given the ominous name due to having over 300 twists and turns over an 11 mile stretch. The two crashed and went down the side of a steep embankment. One died, and the other was sure that would be his fate as well.
Kevin Diepenbrock survived the crash, but with multiple broken bones and punctured lungs, it must have felt like a curse. For more than 30 hours, Diepenbrock lay there at the bottom of the embankment alone and in agony as cars above passed without noticing him. He resigned himself to a slow and painful death.
Diepenbrock had his cell phone on him and pulled it out. He made a recording for his family.
"Hey everybody," he said. "I f--ked up. That's all I'm gonna really say," Diepenbrock said. "I was out 10:30 this morning, and been laying here ever since, about 50 feet down in the ravine."
"Just wanted to say I love you guys," the injured man said. "Sorry for being stupid, but, you know that's what I do."
After sending messages to his parents, wife and others, Diepenbrock signed off with what he thought might be his last words. He tried to get up at some point and passed out. He woke up at 7 pm in the dark and reported he'd been trying to get someone's attention with his cell phone flashlight.
At 11 pm, he started sounding a little incoherent, but was still hanging in. "Hopefully, I'll be able to sleep and catch a state trooper in the morning. Love you, goodnight. Love you, sweet dreams,” he said.
The next day a man and woman riding on a motorbike stopped to have some water. They heard him yelling and went for help. Joshua Johnson went to the edge of the embankment and spotted Diepenbrock, but didn't know if the limp man was dead or alive. Johnson ran down to Diepenbrock.
“I know there were a lot of people [involved]. But that’s the guy that when he came down the hill, I saw him, and he grabbed my hand and said, ‘Everything’s going to be good and we’re going to get out of here.’ He said he’d get ahold of my family and stuff like that. That was the guy who meant everything to me,” Diepenbrock said in the hospital later.
His friend Phil Polito died at the scene of the crash, but Diepenbrock survived and is recovering. He suffered from 17 rib fractures and two punctured lungs. He is a religious man, however, and believes he was spared for a reason.
"There's a lot of things that just shouldn't normally have happened that happened. I honestly think God has a plan for me, and he has a plan for other people. It's unclear what the purpose is, but it worked out," he said.
Source: Independent Journal Review