BURNET, Texas (KXAN) — A man spent a night in the elements after, Burnet officials say, he plunged 75 feet over a cliff Wednesday night.
Burnet County Sheriff’s Deputy Derrick Klotz responded to a call for illegal dumping on Thursday afternoon in the 1000 block of County Road 328. He found an empty truck with no one is sight.
“I don’t know any other way to describe it other than it was definitely gut instinct,” Patrol Captain Ricky Bindseil told KXAN of Klotz’s response to begin searching.
“At that point he crosses over a fence that’s just nearby the vehicle and looks off a cliff and just happens to yell, ‘Is anybody down here?’” Bindseil explained. “He hears a voice that comes back and says, ‘Help! I need help!’”
It was supposed to be a standard response call to the area. But for Klotz, that call quickly turned into a calling to save the man’s life. The man told the deputies his truck had overheated and went to get water from the nearby Cow Creek when he took the wrong step. This area of the creek is not visible from County Road 328 and there is no public access.
The sheriff’s office says the man was severely dehydrated and suffering from a broken leg, unable to move.
“He was in excruciating pain, but it was like he was so glad to have someone finally there with him,” Bindseil explained. “It was like his guardian angels have came down and have rescued him.”
You could say those guardian angels had an extra set of wings on Earth, as Starflight was able to utilize a basket and cable to hoist the man to safety.
“There was no way he would have ever made it out on his own,” Bindseil said, calling Klotz a true hero.
The sheriff’s office is working to confirm the man’s identity. He was air lifted to UMC Brackenridge, where he’s expected to make a full recovery.