'I woke up pinned in the truck, and knew I was in trouble'
SPRINGFIELD, Ore. - Sitting in his hospital bed more than a day later, Philip Meisner still doesn't know exactly what happened Thursday morning on a stretch of two-lane road near Roseburg.
"I don't remember hitting a tree, or rolling," he told KVAL News. "I don't know how long I was asleep. I woke up pinned in the truck and knew I was in trouble."
Meisner admits to doing something a lot of people do when they hit the road every day: driving while drowsy. As he drove home from a friend's house Thursday morning near Roseburg, exhaustion caught up to him on Buckhorn Road.
In the blink of an eye, his Ford F-150 truck slammed into a tree, flipped over, and fell down an embankment, trapping him inside. "The dash smashed, the steering wheel smashed down into my legs."
In excruciating pain, the 33-year-old picked up his phone. It didn't have much battery, but he knew he didn't have much time. "It had just enough battery that I could call 911 and say I'm on Buckhorn Road, I just wrecked, I'm stuck in my pickup, and then the battery died."
For hours Meisner cried out in the dark at anyone who drove by. No answer. Finally, he heard a voice. "I remember screaming the last time, when the officer finally answered me. It was just instant relief, I mean I can't even describe it, someone was there to help."
Rescue crews spent an hour using the jaws of life to free Meisner from his mangled truck. "It hurt, every time something moved. but when they finally got me loose, it was indescribable."
Although the road to recovery may be long, Meisner says his life is the best Christmas present of all, especially when he thinks about his young son. "Knowing if something did happen, even if I just lost a leg, I did that to him. It's kind of hard to swallow."