Man Falls Down 100-Foot Mine Shaft, Breaks Both Legs, Encounters Rattlesnakes – and Survives

by | Oct 18, 2018 | Headline News | 10 comments

The will to survive can be an incredibly powerful force, as the case of John Waddell demonstrates.

Waddell, 62, fell down a 100-foot deep mine shaft in Arizona on Monday, and miraculously, lived to tell his story.

The fall broke both of his legs. And as Waddell lay helpless, several rattlesnakes slithered around him.

He killed three of the snakes at the bottom of the 100-foot hole.

If it weren’t for his good friend Terry Schrader, Waddell probably would not have made it.

“He had called me Monday, and told me he was coming to the mine,” Schrader told FOX10 Phoenix. “We always had a deal. If he is not back by Tuesday, because he said he would be back Tuesday. I didn’t come down Tuesday, I did today. He didn’t get back and here’s what we found. I was afraid of what I was going to find.”

Schrader drove to the mine shaft area on Wednesday and heard his friend screaming.

“As I pulled out my truck I could hear him hollering, ‘Help, help!’” Schrader said. “I did get enough [cellphone service] that the deputies were on their way.”

It took rescuers nearly six hours to pull Waddell out of the shaft to safety. He was then airlifted to a hospital.

Although Waddell was severely dehydrated and had broken his legs, his injuries were not life-threatening, FOX10 reported.

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    1. Stuart

      I was wandering around an old ghost town in West Texas years ago in the bright moonlight. Went back the next day and there were old vertical shafts everywhere. I could have easily fallen in one. None were marked. Always take a buddy.

      • Yahooie

        The buddy system is an oldie but goodie.

    2. the Lone Ranger

      Make sure you have at least two high quality L.E.D. flashlights when you go exploring, and preferably a friend along with the aforementioned backup buddy system.

      One that comes to mind is the Lumintop Tool 2.0 which can take an AA battery. The other type of battery it can take is the same size as an AA battery but called a 14500 rechargeable lithium ion battery. With a 14500 it will beam out 650 lumens!

      I would wear that one on a lanyard and I’d also suggest a headlamp that can put out anywhere from 400-1,200 lumens.

      These are lights for anyone to own, prepper or not, with of course, PLENTY of batteries in the event of power outages and ones that become extended for weeks.

    3. Infidel

      Fill up those mine shafts with liberals and illegals. Make America Safe Again.

      • Genius

        That would be a great start! But we need much bigger holes to hold all of them. Maybe something like the Kennecot copper mine in Utah? It would make a great burn pit lol!

    4. Anonymous

      never go into a mine without someone outside waiting for you.
      never go into a mine with no flashlite, or one that has quit working. because mine tunnels have SHAFTS every once in a while, and you will step into one in the dark. if that flashlight quits working on you, sit yer ass DOWN, and wait for someone with a flashlight that WORKS to rescue you……that’s why you left them OUTSIDE! oh, and just because that mine has been there for 100 years, that doesn’t mean those edges will still be there after you step on them…..i know someone with almost the exact same story about 20 years ago. he lived too….dropped the flashlight from his mouth climbing at a 45* angle, and fell onto his buddy, and both tumbled to the bottom, where his friend stopped, but he fell down the shaft that was waiting for him at the bottom, another 75 feet…..too many stories of dummies gettin’ too close.

      • Just saying ...

        I used to cave dive while scuba diving. The trick was to always have a rope to guide you back.

        Or, to at least make it easier for them to drag my body back out.

    5. the blame-e

      Sounds like the plot to both “True Grit” movies.

    6. AZ Bill

      Looking for gold in abandoned mine shafts by yourself? Not the sharpest tool in the shed. This one was marked and had a fence around it. It wasn’t some random 100 foot hole in the ground. Hopefully this painful, near death experience will teach him a lesson. He owes his buddy his life.

    7. Brian

      It really does sound like getting elected to Congress, even the rattlesnakes!

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