CHARLOTTE, NC (FOX 46) - Tim Hilgenstock is lucky he's alive
"When we got there the top of your head was under the steering wheel," Paramedic Austin Joseph said.
A few days before Thanksgiving, Tim Hilgenstock was meeting with a few of his friends.
“We were all going to hang out and play some card games at one of my friend’s house and then next thing, I wake up and I’m in a car accident," Tim Hilgenstock said.
Hilgenstock almost lost his life on Wingate road in Steele Creek. His car was completely destroyed. Anyone who saw the wreck, didn’t expect the driver to survive.
“He was like this (crouched) on the floor but he was all crushed in there," Joseph said.
"That's why it took so much time to get you out of there, your legs were bent," Paramedic Christopher Noll said
"I remember somebody asking me if I could move my right leg," Hilgenstock said.
First responders all had to work together to get Hilgenstock out. The Fire Department had to cut the roof of the car and then put a back board behind him and lift him out of the car through his trunk.
Hilgentstock’s father Hans is grateful these first responders train for situations like these and where able to get his son out without causing more damage.
"I went to the scene just to look at the scene but when I got to the car, that's when it hit me because I realized how bad it was and how destroyed this car was," Hans Hilgenstock said.
Hilgenstock got away with only a fractured hip socket and a cut on his knee. The last month, he's been in rehab but wanting to thank the people that saved him and on Thursday, he got his chance.
“It makes me feel really good meeting them and everything. Talking with the police officers, and soon enough we will be going to the fire station and talking to them as well. It's a good feeling," Hilgenstock said.
"For both of us, this is the first time we've actually met one of our patients after the fact. So it's a good feeling for me. It's a special day," Joseph said.
It's a day that has changed Hilgenstock for the better.
"I’m a lot more careful now because before I felt invincible."
"It changed the family, how we deal with each other, how we talk to each other, how we appreciate each other. There is a plan out there which saved his life," Hans Hilgenstock said.