TODAY   |  December 02, 2013

Man trapped in car wreck for 6 days speaks out

Rick Koester, who survived being trapped in a car wreck for six days in the mountains of Colorado that killed his friend and put him in a diabetic coma, says it was like waking up from a dream. NBC’s Mara Schiavocampo reports.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>> amazing survivor story. a man that spent six days trapped in a car wreck in the mountains of colorado is opening up for the first time about his experience.

>> i remember waking up thinking i was in a dream.

>> reporter: but it was a nightmare. one evening in october, rick was riding in the passenger seat of a truck when the driver had a sudden diabetic coma.

>> we flew through a median over the other side of the road and off a 30 foot cliff.

>> reporter: rick's friend was killed in the crash. rick survived but his legs were crushed, his face smashed. he was edged in in the cab of this truck.

>> six days, six nights, no food. no water. i was lying on top of my dead friend .

>> reporter: rick was trapped along a quite stretch of u.s. highway south of denver clinging to the hope that someone would find him. someone did. a worker with the department of transportation spotted the truck and called 911. rick's family had been frantic.

>> and we knew he was missing because he left his dog behind. he never leaves his dog anywhere.

>> reporter: then the call came. they were found and one person had severe injuries and i knew that was my son. we're always going to celebrate that day as a second birthday.

>> but the celebration would have to wait. rick was in intensive care. both eggs had to be amputated below the knee. one arm was broken. several fingers were also amputated. his jaw shattered. yet despite those brutal injuries, rick is ready to embrace every moment.

>> there's just so many ways i should have been dead that i'm going to appreciate life from now on.

>> reporter: for today, nbc news new york.

>>> remarkable. very much so. absolutely.