Johnny and Lori Mann were driving home on Colorado Highway 13 on Saturday afternoon when they spotted a person lying face down in a field, quite a distance from a mangled black pickup.
"It was scary to drive by and see someone laying out there," Lori Mann said.
She called 911 while Johnny shuffled down the hill, cleared a barbed wire fence and ran to the victim. Johnny pulled his face out of water running by in a small creek.
That's when he recognized the accident victim: his former schoolmate, Dale Thompson.
Craig Fire/Rescue, Colorado State Patrol and The Memorial Hospital's ambulatory services responded to the scene, just south of mile marker 114, north of Craig.
Thompson was traveling south on Colo. 13 at about 3 p.m. Saturday when he lost control, swerving into the left lane and back across the right. Skid marks showed his path.
Thompson, 44, of Craig, was transported by ambulance to The Memorial Hospital, Colorado Highway Patrol Trooper Doug Kline said. Thompson later was airlifted to St. Mary's hospital in Grand Junction, where he remained in serious condition Sunday, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
Kline said the cause of the accident is under investigation but that excessive speed was "defintely a factor."
Firefighter Kyle Schanck said Thompson's truck likely slid down the embankment and hit a rise at the base of the hill, which propelld him over the right-of-way fence.
When Thompson hit the ground on the other side, Schanck said, he rolled at least three times. He landed facing the opposite direction that he had been traveling.
When emergency personnel reached Thompson, he was conscious and breathing, though with difficulty. Lori said he had cuts on his head, elbow and side.
"He was moving his legs, so that was a good sign," Lori said. "He was complaining his back hurt real bad."
Schanck said Thompson probably was ejected from the car, and not wearing a seatbelt. The air bags did not deploy because most of the impact was on the sides of the vehicle.
At the scene, papers and personal items from Thompson's truck were scattered.
The Mann's Labrador, Bear, hung his head over the side of their white truck at the top of the hill. The couple suspects Thompson had his dog with him, though the pet could not be found, Trooper Kline said.
Johnny came back up the hill to use baby wipes to clean himself off and change clothes out of the back of his truck.
Then, the Manns got back on the road, this time not headed for home but to the hospital to see their friend.