Today’s Badass: Paraplegic Man Drags Himself Four Miles Across Desert

Photo: Christian Science Monitor/Getty Images

After getting ditched on the side of the “Devil’s Highway” without his wheelchair, a New Mexico man dragged himself four miles over desert rocks and dirt for three days and two nights until a motorist rescued him. Forty-nine-year-old Ricky Gilmore had been hitchhiking with a heartless couple that left him for dead after he declined to share alcohol with them (Guy Code: Share booze when riding with strangers?).

“I was just trying to plead with him not to pull me out but he had those wild, devilish eyes,” Gilmore said. “I did not want to fight back…if I did fight back all hell would come loose…I know gangsters like that, they just that start clubbing away.”

He suffered a torturous “127 Hours”-level ordeal that left his jeans tattered, the skin on his left leg and butt mutilated, kidneys failing due to food and water deprivation and heart wrenched that people could be so callous. His body temperature also dropped five degrees from having to brave near-freezing temperatures overnight.

“Ah man, I’m just a big mess,” he said, now recovering in a hospital. “I ache and I’m just in the first stages of healing.” Gilmore said he’s going to stop hitchhiking for a while, maybe at least on Devil’s Highway, which apparently is accurately labeled.

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Brett Smiley (@brettsmiley) is a writer living in New York.