Riverside hunter crawls out of Idaho woods 3 days after breaking leg

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A local hunter has an incredible tale of survival after he got lost in the Idaho wilderness for three days. He broke his leg and had to crawl for miles to get help. (KABC)

A local hunter has an incredible tale of survival after he got stranded in the Idaho wilderness for three days. He broke his leg and had to crawl for miles to get help.

John Sain says his leg was so badly broken, it was sideways. He thought he wasn't going to pull through.

"Well, when you're laying there and your foot is back here, you're in the middle of nowhere, you're not going to make it. That's just the bottom line," Sain said.

The Riverside resident recalled the harrowing ordeal from a hospital bed in Idaho, recovering from surgery on a broken leg that nearly ended his life.

Sain, an avid hunter and experienced outdoorsman, was on a hunt when he slipped.

"There was two logs. He stepped on the first log. His leg went in between and he fell forward, and it just snapped his leg," explained Sain's brother-in-law John DeYoe, a Corona firefighter.

Sain was stranded in the middle of the wilderness with no cell service. After splinting his leg, he began to crawl. After the first day, he was out of food and water. Temperatures dipped to 20 degrees at night.

"He also told me he was afraid to even go to sleep, because he didn't think he was going to wake up," DeYoe said.

After three days passed, hope was gone.

"Do I want to suffer or do I just want to get it done with? At one point, I was, I was reaching for my pistol, asked the Lord for his forgiveness," Sain said.

As he wrote out goodbyes to his family, thinking of his wife and two children, the will to survive returned.

"That's it. Write the letter to my family and that was it. That settled it. I said, 'There's no way I'm doing this. I will get out of here,'" Sain said.

And he did. Sain crawled onto a path and was found by two motorcyclists who happened to be on that path accidentally after getting lost. Sain was airlifted to a hospital.

"I got a call at about 8 o'clock in the morning, and it was John telling me he had been in a bad accident," described Jennifer Sain, his wife.

"I don't think anybody can survive it but John," DeYoe said.

"He did it for his family. He definitely did it for his family," Jennifer Sain said.

John Sain was expected to travel back to California next week, just in time to celebrate his son's 16th birthday.

Related Topics:
huntingu.s. & worldIdahoRiverside
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