An elderly man fell down an abandoned Arizona mine shaft, broke his legs, fought off 3 snakes, and lived

  • John Waddell is “a very fortunate individual” after surviving a 100 feet freefall down an old goldmine shaft on Monday.
  • Both of his legs broke on landing, and he then spent two days with no food or water.
  • To make matters worse, Waddell had to fight off and kill three rattlesnakes.
  • He was found on Wednesday by friend Terry Schrader who noticed he hadn’t made it back.
  • Emergency crews took three hours to free Waddell and he’s reportedly in “good condition” in a hospital.

An elderly man fell 100 feet down an abandoned Arizona gold mine shaft, broke both his legs on landing, and fought off three rattlesnakes – but still made it out alive.

62-year-old John Waddell owns the old mine in Aguila, northwest of Phoenix, Arizona, and was lowering himself in by rope on Monday when he lost control, and plunged 100 feet (31 meters) to the bottom, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Waddell had to last two days alone with no water or food, and was faced with a “trio of rattlesnakes,” AP reported.

Fox 10 reported that Waddell managed to kill all three snakes while trapped in the shaft.

Waddell fortunately told his friend Terry Schrader he was heading down the mine on Monday, and Schrader told Fox 10 he knew something was up when he wasn’t back by Tuesday.

Gold mine arizona fallABC15/YoutubeEmergency crews carry Waddell to safety.

Schrader drove to the mine in his truck to search for Waddell on Wednesday and told ABC 15: “I could hear him hollering, “help, help!”,” AP reported.

Schrader was forced to drive off to get a cell signal to call the emergency services.

Gold mine arizonaABC15/YouTubeThe top of the 50 foot gold mine shaft.

After a three hour rescue mission, emergency crews took Waddell by helicopter to a hospital in Phoenix which is about 90 miles (144 kilometers) away, AP reported.

Aguila arizonaGoogle Maps.Aguila, near Phoenix, Arizona.

AP said Waddell was in a good condition on Thursday at Banner University Medical Center Phoenix – but hospital spokeswoman Alexis Kramer-Ainza said Waddell was undergoing surgery for two broken legs.

Roger Yensen of Maricopa County Sheriff’s Mountain Rescue said:”He is a very fortunate individual.”

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