WAUKESHA -- A Waukesha County man lost in the woods after a snow mobile accident is lucky to be alive.
Eric Sturm crashed his snowmobile in the Kettle Moraine State Forest Saturday night and was cold and confused when he called 9-1-1 for help.
“Like anything if you are stranded outside for any long period of time hypothermia is a real problem,” said North Prairie Fire Captain David Retkowski.
He was part of the search team looking for Sturm in the massive dark forest.
Sturm's cell phone provided some location clues but he was so disoriented from a head injury he could not communicate his whereabouts. However, luck was on his side.
“It was about 600 yards off the road when we saw the glimmer of a light but then unfortunately the light went off,” said Retkowski.
That light was coming from a flashlight pen that Eric’s wife gave him for Christmas. He was flashing it on and off when rescuers noticed a light in the woods.
“I saw it briefly,” said DNR Ranger Matt Wilhelm who was among the first to rescue Sturm. Wilhelm says he just happy they were in the right place and the right time to find the 46–year old Sturm.
And not a moment too soon said Retkowski; “This was probably one of those one and million kinds of things.”
TODAY’S TMJ4 Reporter Charles Benson briefly talked with Eric and his wife and kids Tuesday night. He just got out of the hospital and says he doesn’t remember anything. He suffered a concussion and hypothermia.