[Hpn] Man spends three days trapped in sewer.....

wtinker wtinker@metrocast.net
Mon, 10 Sep 2001 21:04:46 -0400


       Man spends three days trapped in sewer

       Monday, September 10, 2001

       Man rescued after spending three days trapped in Houston storm sewer
 without food, water




       HOUSTON - Kevin Funchess' trip to get some fried chicken turned into
a
 three-day nightmare spent wedged in a storm sewer drain.

       Firefighters rescued Kevin Funchess, 41, on Saturday after he was
 finally able to reach his cell phone and call 911. He had fallen into the
 manhole Wednesday night, and had been without food or water ever since.

       Funchess was released from the hospital Sunday afternoon. He suffered
 muscle damage, dehydration and irregular breathing.

       Firefighters said the teacher's family had been trying to reach him
 during the ordeal, but Funchess said he wasn't able to answer the phone.

       "It truly is a test of faith," Funchess said in Monday's editions of
 the Houston Chronicle.

       Funchess was crossing a highway on his way to a fried chicken
 restaurant when he fell into the hole. His head was jammed against the
sewer
 wall and his left side was pinned so that he could only move his right
hand.
 He struggled to reach the cell phone in his backpack, which was stuck
 underneath him.

       Until Saturday, he was unable to maneuver his hand to reach the
phone,
 which rang several times. He yelled for help, but nobody answered.

       Funchess said the street was nearly 3 feet above his head. He could
 see a side of the freeway and the changes from day to night, but he "lost
 all conception of time." He said he was grateful for the steady vibration
of
 cars overhead.

       Funchess said he prayed, slept and thought about his students and his
 grandmother. He said he didn't think about death.

       "I was too close to home to die," he said.

       Funchess said he was "stunned, dizzy, panicky" when he was rescued.

       Funchess' family was concerned but thought he might be working or
 staying with friends. Joann Cannon, his mother, said they didn't know he
was
 missing until the 911 operator called Saturday.


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