The harrowing last words of a man who ‘died the worst death imaginable’ have been revealed.
There’s something about last words that always captivate the internet.
But this week, the final words of a man who died in the ‘worst way imaginable’ have left the internet feeling emotional.
John Edward Jones was just 26 when he died in a tragic accident in Nutty Putty Cave, located approximately 55 miles from Salt Lake City, in November 2009.
His death was terrifying, painful, and also incredibly slow, meaning his final words were recorded for posterity.
And it’s safe to say, they were truly harrowing.
Jones was spelunking in the cave system in Utah alongside his brother, Josh.
Jones discovered one particularly thin passage in the cave, which is known by its explorers as the ‘birth canal’.
He entered Nutty Putty Cave at around 8pm local time on the evening of November 24, 2009.
However, after taking a wrong turn, Jones found himself trapped upside down in a claustrophobic cave system.
Soon after, his brother Josh began the first rescue attempt. He pulled Jones’ feet, but his shifting position ended up getting him trapped further.
“Guide us as we work through this,” Josh prayed at the time.
“Save me for my wife and kids,” Jones said.
The failed operation to save John Edward Jones, a caver who took a wrong path and got stuck upside down in a tunnel measuring 10 by 18 inches (25 by 46 cm) while exploring Nutty Putty cave in Utah. He died of cardiac arrest after being stuck for 28 hours.pic.twitter.com/U7opXvWTZr
— Creepy.org (@CreepyOrg) September 29, 2023
Josh then left his brother to try to find more help, and the next person to reach John’s location was a woman named Susie Motola, who arrived at about 12:30am on November 25.
“Hi Susie, thanks for coming,” Jones heartbreakingly said as per The Salt Lake Tribune, “but I really, really want to get out.”
More than 100 more rescue personnel came to Jones’ aid over the next few days.
Jones was being held at a downward angle, which put a great amount of strain on his body.
His heart had to work against gravity to pump blood to his extremities, causing huge issues for his cardiovascular system.
The rescuers attempted a rope and pulley system to pull Jones loose, but it failed.
One of the men on the scene, Shaun Roundy, has explained: “I reviewed the whole mission, wishing we’d have done this tiny detail differently or done that a little sooner. But it’s no use second-guessing things. We did our best.”
After the pulley system failed, Jones seemed to admit defeat, saying (as per ABC News): “I’m going to die right here. I’m not going to come out of here, am I?”
Tragically, after many hours spent trapped in this upside-down position, Jones’ heart gave out, and he died of cardiac arrest.
His final words, though, were not of concern for himself, but for one of his rescuers.
Ryan Shurtz had been injured when a loose carabiner flew back and hit him in the face.
“Is he OK? I think he’s really hurt bad,” Jones asked.
Since Jones’ death, the cave has been closed to the public.
His body has never been recovered from its trapped position, for fear of more people risking their lives.