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Impaled driver cheats death 3 times, ready to move on with life

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CEDAR CITY — Andrew Linn knows he dodged death after a bizarre car crash in which he was impaled by a fence post.

"I'm the luckiest person you'll ever meet," he said Monday, relaxing with his family at his home in Cedar City.

Turns out, he's cheated death three times, and is now recovering from his last round of plastic surgery.

I'm the luckiest person you'll ever meet.

–Andrew Linn

KSL News first introduced you to Andrew Linn a year ago. That was five months after he had been impaled by an inch and a half fence post while he was driving in Las Vegas. It went through his windshield, into his mouth, and out the back of his neck.

Linn doesn't remember anything from the November 2010 crash, but apparently he was awake. After he recovered, first responders told him that he was trying to text his wife right after the crash, having no idea what was going on.

"When they cut the pipe off, I climbed out of the car and hopped onto the gurney," he said. "They said,'You need to slow down, dude. You had a pipe go through your head.'"

That's exactly what you see when you look at the X-rays: a pipe, straight into Linn's mouth, right out the back of his head. It's hard to believe, and hard to forget.

"According to the doctors, there were seven separate miracles that happened that night," Linn said. "If the pipe had been millimeters in any direction, I'm not sitting here."

X-ray image of the metal fence post impaling Adrew Linn's head.
X-ray image of the metal fence post impaling Adrew Linn's head.

At the hospital, doctors worked to save his life, and he awoke several days later. His family slowly filled him in on the enormity of the crash and what had happened to him.

"It was like waking up to a nightmare, that's what it was like," Linn said.

A year ago, Linn was still missing teeth and had serious scars. During our visit Monday, we couldn't see any lingering problems.

Linn is a U.S. Marine veteran who survived the war in Iraq. When he came home, he was hit by a speeding drunken driver and needed surgery for an injured neck.

"I cheated death there for sure, went for a ride," he said.

While he survived that crash in 2008, doctors tell him the fence post probably should have killed him.

"The pipe that runs across the top of the fence is the one that came through my face and actually went out the back window," Linn explained.

The 29-year-old thinks he fell asleep at the wheel. After the pole pierced his head, his car crossed the street, jumped the curb and hit a trailer. If the pole had speared his carotid artery or jugular vein, his surgeon said, he would have bled to death.

"There's so much stuff in there, right in that area," Linn said. "It's just a miracle it didn't hit any of that stuff."

Linn is grateful for the work of his doctors. He said the hardest part of his recovery was learning to swallow and eat and drink again. Opening his mouth again was also really hard after it had been wired shut after surgery.

The Nevada native returned to college just six weeks after the crash, and graduated this past spring from Southern Utah University. Right now, he's interviewing for jobs in marketing and is ready to move on in life.

After being hit by that drunken driver four years ago, Linn thought he had a new perspective on life. This most recent crash has even stirred him deeper. He said he knows how to cherish his wife and two young children.

"Every moment that I get with my family is a gift, a second chance at life," Linn said.

"A third chance," he added, following a pause.


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Jed Boal


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