Strangers help man trapped in ravine after hearing cries for help from a distance

Posted at 5:19 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 19:33:19-04

ROCKVALE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Two golf course employees were at the right place at the right time to help save a man trapped in a deep ravine for many hours on Memorial Day.

Rodney Hill of Champions Run Golf Course in Rockvale remembered hearing faint cries from a distance. He believed they were children at first, but the seemingly calls for help prompted him to search the source.

Hill drove around the golf course on Mount Pleasant Road and tracked the cries on the opposite side of the road from the golf property and deep in the woods several hundred yards away.

"Then I could hear him hollering, 'Help me! I'm trapped! I'm trapped! Help me!'" Hill told NewsChannel 5.

Hill picked up his co-worker Allen Cox and called deputies. Both men immediately made their way around the property and into rugged terrain and thick woods to find a man stuck in a ravine about 30 feet deep.

"He was cold and been in the water all night, but we couldn't get to him because the ravine was so deep," Cox described. "When we got to the middle of the ravine we could see him and he was scared and a little bit delirious."

Several departments including the Rutherford County Fire & Rescue responded to the scene. Exactly why the man was in the woods in the first place was still unclear, but Captain Matthew Lupo said he had been trapped there for 12 hours. He was unable to get out because it was too muddy and slick.

"We were able to slide a ladder down the hole to him and assist him up the ladder and out of the hole. Due to fatigue and how long he was in there and dehydration and all of that, he wasn’t able to walk real (sic) well so we packaged him in what we call a Stokes basket," Lupo said.

The man was taken to Saint Thomas Rutherford for treatment and is expected to be OK.

"I’m glad they got him out and he was safe," Hill said.