A biker recorded a heartbreaking farewell to his family after a crash that killed his friend left him stranded at the bottom of an embankment.
Co-workers Kevin Diepenbrock, 41, and Phillip Polito, 29, were riding along Route 129 near the Tennessee-North Carolina border – known as the 'Dragon' – on October 15th when they collided with one another. Polito had reportedly braked suddenly, causing Diepenbrock to crash into the back of him. The resulting impact sent the pair hurtling down a roadside ravine.
Polito fell 50ft and was killed on impact. However, after falling 55ft further, Diepenbrock found himself alive but seriously injured. With two broken ribs, hairline fractures on his spine, two punctured lungs, scratches and bruises, he was helpless and unable to move.
After trying to call out and phone for help, Diepenbrock began to give up hope of rescue and, using his mobile, he recorded a number of goodbye messages to his family.
"I f***ed up, that's all I can really say. At about 10:30 this morning. Been laying here ever since. About 50 feet down in the ravine. I just wanted to say I love you guys," he says in the first video. "Sorry I was being stupid, but you know that's what I do. See you guys soon."
Rescue finally came roughly 27 hours later, though, after passers-by on the road above heard his cries for help and called Blount County authorities, which launched a rescue mission.
Speaking to WATE.com from hospital, Diepenbrock said: "Never forget to tell people you love them. That's all I could think about when I was down there was that I never, you never say that enough. You never spend enough time with your family, your parents, enough time with people that are close to you."