SIMI VALLEY (CBSLA) — Ron Sparks, 87, had to be helped into his Simi Valley home after suffering a broken ankle and cuts Monday afternoon.
The injuries came after he fell down an abandoned well in front of his home.
“Well, I’m home after a great adventure,” Sparks said. “And it could’ve been so much worse.”
Sparks’s family said he was mowing the lawn when he noticed an indentation in the grass.
“And so he went to step on it,” Merrilee Kaszacs, Sparks’s daughter, said. “And that’s the end of that story. He said it was like a bad ride at Magic Mountain.”
Sparks fell about 25 feet and then began sinking into the mud. He called out for help, but his wife did not hear him from inside their home.
About 30 minutes after the fall, a caregiver was heading to a neighbor’s house and heard Sparks yelling.
“They got out of the car and heard him yelling for help,” Kaszacs said. “But couldn’t see him obviously, and they’re the ones that called 911.”
When fire crews got there, they had to strap Sparks to ropes to keep him from sinking deeper into the mud.
A specialized search and rescue team was called in to pull Sparks out from the two-feet wide hole.
According to the Ventura County Fire Department, the couple knew the well existed but over the years forgot about it as the grass grew over. However, the couple’s daughter later said that they were unaware of the well until the man fell in.
It was believed that recent rain may have softened the earth above the well just enough to collapse with any weight on it.
“I’m so thankful for the Ventura County Fire Department, the EMTs and Los Robles Hospital for the great care they gave,” Sparks said.