SALT LAKE CITY (October 29, 2013) A missing Kansas man who spent his final days trapped in the wreckage of his van in a ravine off a desolate stretch of interstate in Utah wrote goodbye letters to his wife and sons, authorities say.
A hitchhiker found David Welch, 54, on Oct. 18 after spotting the wreckage off Interstate 70 in eastern Utah, more than 50 miles from any town, Utah Highway Patrol trooper Gary Riches said.
Investigators believe Welch, who was a sales representative for Frito-Lay, fell asleep at the wheel of his minivan on the highway sometime around Sept. 3, a day after he disappeared from his home in Manhattan, Kan.
The vehicle veered off the highway and came to rest in the ravine where the hitchhiker found it six weeks later.
Riches said Welch survived the crash with injuries, but was unable to get out of the wreckage.
Investigators think he survived for days, and maybe weeks, keeping a journal and writing notes to his wife and four sons.