Trapped for days next to his dead friend, this Colorado car accident survivor is now well enough to tell his story. For more than a month, Richard Koester has been struggling to recover from severe injuries he suffered in a truck accident in Colorado that killed his friend, and he is finally well enough to tell his story. The accident happened in mid-October of this year, when his friend’s truck plunged off of Highway 50 near Canon City. Koester was the passenger in the truck, and somehow survived the accident that claimed his friend’s life. Over the course of the six days following the accident, Koester remained trapped in the passenger side of the truck, fading in and out of consciousness, clinging to life as the truck remained stuck at the bottom of a ravine. He knew his friend was dead, and he didn’t know whether he would make it out alive.
The truck was eventually spotted by a passing Colorado Department of Transportation worker. Koester was rushed to the hospital in a coma, and his next fight for survival began. Treated at a Colorado Springs hospital, Koester underwent multiple surgeries, including the partial amputation of both of his legs, the amputation of several fingers, and reconstructive surgery on his jaw. It is only now, more than one month after the accident, that Koester is able to talk and describe what happened. “It’s been a life-changing experience,” said Koester, who has not been able to swallow since the accident. “I just want to have people stop cutting on me, and I’m tired of being in the hospital.” Koester’s fight to recover is far from over, as he has more surgeries ahead of him, and will also have to learn to live life as a double amputee. “Rick’s story is inspiring, compelling and miraculous,” said David McDivitt, Koester’s lead attorney. “When he needed a law firm, we were honored that he turned to us to carry his flag and be his legal force. We’re going to do everything that we can to help with his renewed life going forward.” Koester’s family now faces a difficult financial road ahead. If you are interested in helping, Koester’s family has set up the “Rick Koester Fund” at the Colorado Mountain Bank, P.O. Box 420, Westcliffe, CO 81252. The bank’s phone number is 719-783-9211.