The fatal mistake of man who suffered 'worst death imaginable'

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By James Kay

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One fatal mistake led to the tragic death of a man who suffered the "worst death imaginable" after being trapped in a cave for over a day.

Back on November 24, 2009, John Edward Jones, a medical student and devoted father of one, embarked on a spelunking expedition with friends and family in the depths of Nutty Putty Cave in Utah.

Located approximately 55 miles from Salt Lake City, this cavernous labyrinth was considered suitable for novice cave explorers, despite its tight and winding tunnels that opened up into vast chambers.

Accompanied by his experienced brother, John ventured deeper into the cave while the less-seasoned members of the group explored the easier sections. Their aim was to locate a narrow tunnel dubbed the birth canal. Unfortunately, during their exploration, John took a wrong turn, leading them astray in an unfamiliar section of the cave.

Pressing on, John wriggled through a minuscule crack in the cave wall, confident that it would soon widen into a spacious cavern.

However, it was this mistake that would prove to be fatal. John found himself lodged in a passage too narrow to retreat from. With no other option, he attempted to move forward, squeezing his body through a passage that was just 10 inches across and 18 inches high.

As John exhaled and released his breath, he became wedged inside the claustrophobic gap and when he realized his predicament, he called out to his brother Josh for assistance. Unfortunately, the rescue attempt went awry as Josh attempted to pull his brother out of the confined space.

This caused John to slip further into the cave, becoming stuck upside down with his hands pinned under his chest, immobilized and unable to free himself.

Realizing that he was unable to help, Josh ventured back to the surface to get help and over three hours after John became trapped, the first rescuer, Susie Motola, arrived at the scene. To her dismay, all she could see were John's shoes.

As per the Salt Lake Tribune, John politely said: "Hi Susie, thanks for coming, but I really, really want to get out."

Over the next 24 grueling hours, Susie and a team of approximately 100 rescuers tirelessly labored to save John. Their efforts were hampered by the treacherous conditions of the cave, particularly the exceptionally narrow and awkward spot where John was trapped.

Rescuer Shawn Roundy explained to the media at the time: "It's a really tight spot, but we've been able to get around him. We were able to hold his hand at some point."

As per ABC News, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, the team devised a complex pulley system, intending to extract John from his entrapment. In a glimmer of hope, John managed to partially free himself. Tragically, the pulley system malfunctioned at the last moment, causing John to plummet back to his initial position.

The extreme stress and pressure were taking a toll on John's body, which was rapidly deteriorating. Rescuers connected John with his wife, Emily, via phone to offer comfort during the crisis. John, determined to be there for his wife and children, assured her he would find a way out.

After enduring over 25 hours in an upside-down position, struggling to breathe, John began to lose consciousness. Eventually, a doctor reached him, only to pronounce him dead due to cardiac arrest and suffocation on November 25.

The media at the time dubbed the tragedy "the worst death imaginable" and the cave system where he passed has since been filled with concrete, with John's remains still there.

Featured image credit: spooh / Getty

The fatal mistake of man who suffered 'worst death imaginable'

vt-author-image

By James Kay

Article saved!Article saved!

One fatal mistake led to the tragic death of a man who suffered the "worst death imaginable" after being trapped in a cave for over a day.

Back on November 24, 2009, John Edward Jones, a medical student and devoted father of one, embarked on a spelunking expedition with friends and family in the depths of Nutty Putty Cave in Utah.

Located approximately 55 miles from Salt Lake City, this cavernous labyrinth was considered suitable for novice cave explorers, despite its tight and winding tunnels that opened up into vast chambers.

Accompanied by his experienced brother, John ventured deeper into the cave while the less-seasoned members of the group explored the easier sections. Their aim was to locate a narrow tunnel dubbed the birth canal. Unfortunately, during their exploration, John took a wrong turn, leading them astray in an unfamiliar section of the cave.

Pressing on, John wriggled through a minuscule crack in the cave wall, confident that it would soon widen into a spacious cavern.

However, it was this mistake that would prove to be fatal. John found himself lodged in a passage too narrow to retreat from. With no other option, he attempted to move forward, squeezing his body through a passage that was just 10 inches across and 18 inches high.

As John exhaled and released his breath, he became wedged inside the claustrophobic gap and when he realized his predicament, he called out to his brother Josh for assistance. Unfortunately, the rescue attempt went awry as Josh attempted to pull his brother out of the confined space.

This caused John to slip further into the cave, becoming stuck upside down with his hands pinned under his chest, immobilized and unable to free himself.

Realizing that he was unable to help, Josh ventured back to the surface to get help and over three hours after John became trapped, the first rescuer, Susie Motola, arrived at the scene. To her dismay, all she could see were John's shoes.

As per the Salt Lake Tribune, John politely said: "Hi Susie, thanks for coming, but I really, really want to get out."

Over the next 24 grueling hours, Susie and a team of approximately 100 rescuers tirelessly labored to save John. Their efforts were hampered by the treacherous conditions of the cave, particularly the exceptionally narrow and awkward spot where John was trapped.

Rescuer Shawn Roundy explained to the media at the time: "It's a really tight spot, but we've been able to get around him. We were able to hold his hand at some point."

As per ABC News, after numerous unsuccessful attempts, the team devised a complex pulley system, intending to extract John from his entrapment. In a glimmer of hope, John managed to partially free himself. Tragically, the pulley system malfunctioned at the last moment, causing John to plummet back to his initial position.

The extreme stress and pressure were taking a toll on John's body, which was rapidly deteriorating. Rescuers connected John with his wife, Emily, via phone to offer comfort during the crisis. John, determined to be there for his wife and children, assured her he would find a way out.

After enduring over 25 hours in an upside-down position, struggling to breathe, John began to lose consciousness. Eventually, a doctor reached him, only to pronounce him dead due to cardiac arrest and suffocation on November 25.

The media at the time dubbed the tragedy "the worst death imaginable" and the cave system where he passed has since been filled with concrete, with John's remains still there.

Featured image credit: spooh / Getty