By Ryan Lewallen, County 17
A Campbell County man was rescued early Monday morning after spending two nights trapped beneath an overturned four-wheeler in a pasture near the Adon Road, officials said Wednesday.
Frank Reynolds, 53, was found around 7:50 a.m. on July 6, approximately 40 hours after he initially set out to open pasture gates for his cattle on July 4, according to Campbell County Sheriff Scott Matheny.
He was noticed missing on July 5 after his family set out to move cattle on their ranch east of Gillette. They saw that his four-wheeler was gone and made several attempts to contact him without success.
According to a social media post by Campbell County Undersheriff Quentin Reynolds, Frank’s brother, the family had several discussions about where he could be and drove past his house multiple times.
“It wasn’t until we called his girlfriend that we found out that he hadn’t been heard from since morning the previous day,” Undersheriff Reynolds said, adding that the family set out to search for at 2 p.m. that day and filed a missing person report with the Campbell County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) at 5 p.m.
The search effort continued until 2 a.m. on July 6 and was picked back up at 6 a.m. with approximately 40 to 50 Campbell County Search and Rescue personnel, Posse members, and volunteers arriving to assist, per Undersheriff Reynolds.
“The country out there was so rough that the search party, originally on four-wheelers, had to turn back and saddle up horses,” Matheny said.
Reynolds was located by a CCSO detention officer on horseback in a dry creek bed. He was pinned beneath the four-wheeler that had rolled on top of him when he accidentally reversed down a steep embankment while attempting to recover a cow and a calf, Undersheriff Reynolds said.
“He laid in the creek bed for two nights and a day, honking the four-wheeler’s horn so much that it drained the battery,” Matheny said, who added that the incident broke several bones on Frank’s left side, including his shoulder and possibly his clavicle.
Undersheriff Reynolds added that Reynolds had taken a cooler with him that morning that had several bottles of water and cans of beer inside. He was able to ration it knowing that he could be out there for some time while his family searched for him.
“He’s really lucky that the drinks landed within reach of his right arm,” Undersheriff Reynolds said, adding that his brother was found delirious and dehydrated but otherwise responsive.
Frank was transported to Campbell County Health and later on to the Casper Regional Medical Center. As of July 7, he was doing well but it was not known when he could be released from the hospital.
“It’s a happy ending,” Undersheriff Reynolds said. “It could have been a lot worse”