Colorado logger says cut off toes to free himself

Reuters News
Posted: Aug 31, 2011 6:44 PM
Colorado logger says cut off toes to free himself

By Keith Coffman

DENVER (Reuters) - A western Colorado logger said on Wednesday that he amputated all the toes on his right foot with a pocket knife to free himself after a 7-ton trailer landed on his foot, trapping him in an isolated forest.

Jon Hutt, 61, of Montrose, Colorado said he's "on the mend" after the harrowing August 19 incident.

Hutt told Reuters he was gathering a load of firewood for the upcoming winter months in a remote area west of Telluride, Colorado. As he was working on his tractor-trailer, the trailer lurched, became detached and landed on his foot.

"It was like stepping into a bear trap," he said.

Unable to free himself, Hutt said he hollered for help but after 30 minutes realized "no one was coming," and he needed to take drastic action before shock set in.

Utilizing the 3-inch blade on his pocket knife, Hutt cut away his boot and saw that his only option was to cut off all five toes to escape.

"The three smaller toes were easy, but it took some work to cut through the tendons on the two big toes," he said. "Plus, at that point the blade was getting dull."

After the makeshift surgery, Hutt used a shirt as a tourniquet to staunch the bleeding and drove his semi-tractor trailer down a mountain pass until he got into cell phone range.

He then called 911 and an ambulance met him at a reservoir and transported him to an area hospital. Surgeons at Montrose Memorial Hospital could not re-attach the severed digits.

Hospital spokeswoman Leann Tobin said Hutt spent just four days in the facility, and was released on August 22.

Hutt said he was familiar with Aron Ralston, the Colorado mountain climber whose 2003 saga became a best-selling book and Oscar-nominated movie after he amputated his right arm when a loose boulder pinned him in a Utah canyon.

But the soft-spoken Hutt said he doesn't know if he wants any more publicity after dealing with the whirlwind of media attention that has come his way.

"It seems like I shot myself in the foot instead," he said, laughing.

(Editing by Dan Whitcomb and Cynthia Johnston)