Ryan Osmun and Jessika McNeill were on a remote trail at Utah’s Zion National Park with no cell phone service on Saturday when tragedy struck.
Osmun and McNeill had been hiking a trail known as the Subway for about three hours when McNeill tripped and fell into quicksand that was submerged in water, according to ABC News. The incident occurred during a snowstorm, with temperatures at the park sinking to just 17 degrees that day, according to The Weather Channel.
As he successfully pulled McNeill out, Osmun, who is from Arizona, noticed that his right leg became caught in the quicksand, too, ABC reported.
“There was no chance of moving it at all. The sand had surrounded the whole leg and I couldn’t move it,” he recalled to CBS News. “The best way to describe it would be … standing in a huge puddle of concrete — that basically dries instantly.”
After McNeill unsuccessfully tried to dig him out, Osmun told her to leave him and look for help, the couple recalled to ABC. With that, McNeill said she didn’t know if she’d ever see her boyfriend again.
“I knew the only way to save his life was to leave him, but I didn’t know if he had the time left,” she told the site. “It was the hardest thing I’ve had to do, the scariest thing I had to do.”
As for Osmun, he told ABC he was most concerned for his girlfriend: “I just hoped the best for her, honestly, because I didn’t feel like I was going to make it out.”
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McNeill, who was later diagnosed with hypothermia, hiked for about three hours before finding help, according CBS. When McNeill reached rescue crews, it took them several hours to find Osmun, KUTV reported. They worked for two hours and freed Osmun Sunday night, according to the station.
Due to the late hour, rescue crews spent the night with him in the cold weather. Four inches of snow fell in the area that night, KUTV reported.
“The water was so cold, I thought I was going to lose my leg,” Osmun told ABC. “I was in the water for 11 hours total. There were two snowstorms while I was waiting, just sitting in the water. It was just pouring snow.”
Utah Department of Public Safety officials shared footage of