Make your home page

Indiana man found alive after 6 days in a crashed truck reunites with rescuers

Matt Reum meets rescuers before discharge

PORTAGE, Ind. (WISH) — The Indiana man who was rescued after six days in a wrecked pickup truck in a creek below an interstate is telling his story and reuniting with the people who saved his life.

Matthew Reum is now out of South Bend’s Memorial Hospital. In a video posted by the Beacon Health System, the Mishawaka man was reunited with the two fishermen who found him three weeks ago in the mangled truck under I-94 in Porter County.

“The six days I was down there were the longest, scariest, most terrifying days of my life because that day I had given up hope. And, you know, that morning I had and I think I handed you my notebook, but that notebook had my obituary in it,” Reum said to the fishermen and other emergency officials who helped him.

Matt Reum being discharged from the hospital. (Provided Photo/ Beacon Health System)

Garcia and Nivardo Delatorre, of Portage, found Reum at around 3:45 p.m. on Dec. 6 and called the Porter County dispatch center.

Reum’s truck was under the Salt Creek bridge for I-94, about a mile east of the Portage exit, said Indiana State Police Sgt. Glen Fifield. The bridge is in a wooded area between exits for U.S. 20 and State Road 249 in northwest Indiana.

Burns Harbor fire crews rescued Reum before he was airlifted in critical condition with severe life-threatening injuries to South Bend. One of his legs had to be amputated.

The hospital said in a statement: “After three weeks under our care, Matt was discharged Tuesday evening from Memorial Hospital. He will now enter the next phase of his healing journey at home surrounded by family and friends. We look forward to continuing to care for Matt in outpatient physical rehabilitation at Memorial.”

Beacon Health also shared this message from Reum:

To everyone who has been following my story, 

After four weeks since my wreck, and three weeks of being in the hospital, and hours and hours of physical therapy and occupational therapy, I am finally being discharged.

To the members of the community who have supported me mentally and emotionally and have been in my corner, thank you. The support you have given me has been one of the biggest factors in my healing.

To the countless nurses and assistants who have helped feed me, bathe me and have given me medication throughout the day and night, thank you.

To the skilled doctors and everyone who played a hand in my surgeries going off without a hitch, thank you.

Finally, to my social worker and the amazing physical and occupational therapists here at Memorial Hospital, I can never thank you enough for helping me realize I am not any less of a man just because I lost my leg.

Now it is time for me to take my next steps outside of the hospital where I will be tested, tried, and will grow even more. I may be a little slower getting around than I was four weeks ago, but I’m still going to be moving forward toward a life I am proud of, having been given a second chance.

A GoFundMe was set up for Reum’s medical bills and recovery. As of Thursday morning, it had raised more than $103,000.