Man Survives More Than 100 Hours Trapped Under Giant Fallen Tree In Minnesota

by : Emily Brown on : 07 Sep 2020 17:28
Man Survives More Than 100 Hours Trapped Under Giant Fallen TreeKARE 11 News

A Minnesota man shocked his family when they discovered he had survived for more than 100 hours after becoming trapped under a fallen tree. 

Jonathan Ceplecha, 59, was chopping down trees behind his house in Redwood Falls on August 27 when the oak tree he was working on fell and trapped him.


His son Miles Ceplecha said both of his father’s legs were ‘suddenly pinned down under an immovable log and his upper torso was now semi-twisted as he sat upright on the ground.’

You can watch more about Jonathan’s ordeal below:


Jonathan’s legs were broken and he was in incredible pain, but with no phone on him he couldn’t call for help. For the following four days, the 59-year-old survived by eating plants and insects, and drinking the sweat and rainwater he could collect in his clothes.


Miles, who told his father’s story on a GoFundMe page, said Jonathan covered his head with his shirt during the nights to keep the insects off as he slept, and managed to maintain his sanity by breaking down every day into hours, and each hour into five-minute increments.

As he remained trapped, the father, who is strongly religious, prayed often and tried to distract himself from panic by meditating and inventing rhythms to follow as each hour passed.

Man survives under tree for four daysKARE 11 News

Family members began to get worried when Jonathan wasn’t answering his phone calls and didn’t show up for work, so on August 31 his ex-wife went to his property to investigate. There, she found the 59-year-old stuck under the tree and contacted the sheriff’s office for help.


It took the authorities nearly two hours to rescue Jonathan from under the tree, and after being freed he was taken to hospital, where he is now recovering.

Sheriff’s Office Chief Deputy Mark Farasyn told NBC affiliate KARE 11 that he was amazed Jonathan was able to survive for so long on his own.

He commented:

He had the will to live, and he wasn’t ready to go. I don’t know many people who could survive an ordeal like that.

Man who survived under tree for more than 100 hoursGoFundMe

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Miles added that he was alarmed about what his father had been through, saying: ‘We’re all still in shock that he’s alive and that he was out there by himself.’

Miles set up the GoFundMe page to help pay for Jonathan’s recovery, explaining that while ‘the vast-majority of his insurance costs will be covered by the Veteran’s Administration, it is likely that there will be ‘unforeseen gaps and expenses that arise from his slow recovery’.

Jonathan has already undergone surgeries and Miles said it is likely both of his legs will be saved, though the father has a long road ahead. Hopefully he will make a full and fast recovery.


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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: News, Minneapolis, Minnesota


NBC and 1 other
  1. NBC

    Minnesota man trapped underneath a fallen tree for 4 days is rescued

  2. GoFundMe

    Jonathan Ceplecha: Survivor