A 50-year-old Cambridge man nearly died after being impaled by a large stick while riding an ATV.
A Go Fund Me for William Charpenter says he was taking part in a veterans ATV charity ride starting in Bruno, Minnesota, on Sept. 11, cruising through dense woods when all of a sudden a large tree branch fell on to the vehicle. Both Charpenter and his nephew, also on the ATV, pushed the branch out of the way — then suddenly, Charpenter grabbed his neck and cried out.
When the group went to check, they saw a 1.5-inch wide stick, sticking out of his neck area.
In a rural area with no cell service, Charpenter had to wait while a few group members rode out to call 911, with some retired nurses and EMTs who were out on the ride able to provide some help. It was a long wait however, nearly three hours before a LifeLink helicopter could land nearby.
Charpenter was taken to the aircraft, then flown to Duluth for emergency surgery.
Doctors said the branch went 6-7 inches deep, "just narrowly missing the main artery in his neck and coming [within] fractions of a inch from his heart," the Go Fund Me says.
He is now in the intensive care unit, recovering. His daughter shared a Facebook photo Tuesday, in which a recovering Charpenter is giving a thumbs up.