Upside down, neck broken, SC man survives crash in Montana woods

From his hospital bed in Missoula, Mont., on Aug. 5, 2013, Shaun Lee describes how he hung upside down pinned in the rental car he rolled on West Side Ninemile Road for more than 30 hours before he was discovered by a Forest Service worker who summoned rescuers.
Wednesday, Aug 7, 2013 8:58 AM
Last updated 11:27 PM
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MISSOULA, Mont. — A South Carolina man was trapped in a rental car with a broken neck and other injuries for more than a day after the vehicle went off a forest road and rolled down an embankment in western Montana.

Shaun Lee of Moncks Corner, S.C., said he was upside down, pinned by the steering wheel, as he waited for help and prayed in the crashed car. He told his story to the media Monday from a Missoula hospital, where he was recovering.

Lee, 30, said he had traveled from South Carolina to North Dakota to look for work in the oil fields, then decided to continue on to Montana to visit an aunt in Missoula.

He said he was looking for a motel west of Missoula when he took a wrong exit and a few wrong turns and found himself coming down a slope on a wet dirt road at 12:15 a.m. Aug. 1.

“Emergency brake on, got the foot brake on,” recalled Lee, “It’s going faster and faster. Next thing I know she flipped upside-down and boom.”

Lee said he yelled, honked the horn and prayed in hopes of being found.

“I did say my ‘Our Fathers’ and ‘Hail Mary Full of Graces,’” Lee said.

At about 9:30 a.m. on Aug. 2, Forest Service employee Benji Hegg spotted Lee’s car and called for help.

“He sat right there outside my window and kept me level-headed,” Lee said. “He saved my life.”

Other rescuers responded and cut Lee out of the vehicle. Taylor Blakely, a member of Frenchtown Rural Fire, said responders placed Lee on a backboard and carried him up the embankment. He was then taken to the hospital.

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TDW 08/07/13 - 09:56 am

Mr. Lee, you are here for a reason, find out what it is and heed to it! Prayers going up for a speedy recovery.

REDRIDER 08/07/13 - 11:00 am
Happy Ending

But I noticed the tiny spare tire was on rear of the car.

restguy 08/07/13 - 07:19 pm
Oil fields out there?

Oil fields out there?

Bantana 08/08/13 - 05:36 pm
'ol jed's a millionaire

Yes, oil fields out there. The Bakken Shale deposits are second only to Alaska in potential. The Bakken Shale oil fields are estimated to hold 5 billion barrels of oil. Drilling is underway in the Williston Basin across parts of North Dakota and Montana where big rig truck drivers are making six figure salaries And adventurous waitresses are making more. ;-)

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