Man survives tree branch impalement in Teller County, thanks rescuers

TELLER COUNTY, Colo. - A man from Colorado Springs survived a freak accident where he was impaled by a tree branch. Tuesday, he was reunited with the men and women he credits with saving his life.

It happened on Memorial Day weekend. Eddie Kerr was riding his dirt bike when he was impaled by a branch with a diameter of a baseball bat.

"Hit the tree square on, kinda launched myself over the handlebars to where the branch actually deflected off of my chest protector and my neck brace into my shoulder/throat area," said Kerr who lives in Colorado Springs.

He was on a backcountry dirt path near Divide when he lost control. Mathew Bergland was part of the medical helicopter crew that responded.

"There was no cell service, it was very difficult to get to him, it was difficult to find him," he said. "If we weren't able to get to him for whatever reason, the odds of him surviving would have been very low."

Four surgeries and several broken bones later, Kerr is now out of the hospital and on his way to recovery. He credits his equipment.

"I had this fancy Leatt brace that has a neck protector built into the chest protector, and lucky for that because it took the brunt," Kerr said. 

He also thanks the men and women of the UC Health flight crew for their quick action and selflessness.

 "It's awesome, I mean they're the reason why I'm here in front of you guys right now and I get to go home with my wife and everything so it's an awesome experience," Kerr said.

Though, Kerr said it's an experience he wouldn't wish on anyone. Kerr says the accident has prompted him to retire from motorsports, including riding his dirt bike.

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