CANON CITY, Colo. – A Colorado man survived six nights in near-freezing temperatures next to his friend's body before the wreckage of their truck was discovered off of a rural highway, authorities said Friday.
The truck carrying Ronald Lee Mohr and Richard William Koester went off U.S. Highway 50 and into a ravine about 85 miles south of Denver on Oct. 11, Fremont County Coroner Carlette Brocious said.
A Colorado Department of Transportation worker spotted the pickup on Thursday. Mohr — the driver — had died of his injuries while Koester has since been hospitalized with serious injuries.
"They were down in a culvert and you just couldn't see them from the road," Brocious said. "It was just wonderful that the CDOT worker found them when he was looking over the guardrail."
Brocious said the men had only long sleeves and light jackets to guard against the cold. She didn't know how Koester, 36, of Westcliffe, survived the week as temperatures at night hovered around freezing and light rain moved through the area.
"They didn't have any food in there that I saw," she said. "I just think he had an angel looking over his shoulder."
The crash took place five miles west of Canon City in an area marked by scrubby vegetation and canyonlands.
Mohr, 59, of Silver Cliff, and Koester were reported missing when they didn't return from a trip to Cripple Creek, a historic Rocky Mountain mining town now popular for its casinos.