Scottsburg Man Trapped in Well for Hours

Scottsburg, VA - A Scottsburg man almost lost his life over the weekend after an unfortunate mistake.

Kenneth Helton went down into a well to retrieve the cell phone he dropped there and ended up stuck for hours.

One of Helton's friends happened to stop by for a visit when he heard Helton screaming for help.

"If didn't nobody find me, I said this is where I'm going to die, this is how I'm going to die. You just don't know what to think except the worst," Helton recalled.

What started with a phone conversation in Helton's front yard ended with him screaming for help at the bottom of his well.

Helton's phone slipped from his hands and into the well. When he went in after it, he says it was a decision he would soon regret.

"I tried to come back up and I was unable to do it so I just was dangling there in the air and my arms couldn't take it anymore so I just let go," Helton said.

Helton fell almost 40 feet and was trapped for hours before his friend passing through found him and called 911.

"I immediately came to the scene where we had personnel already working on rigging the rope to rescue him and they were monitoring the air," said Deputy Emergency Services Coordinator Chad Loftis.

A long list of first responders came to help, including four fire departments, the local rescue squad, sheriff's deputies and a wrecker.

"Everybody kind of coordinated and knew what everybody else was doing. It went very quick, very successful," said Donald Ellington, owner of Franklin Garage.

After an hour-long rescue effort, they brought him to the surface with minor scrapes and an injured foot.

"I'm sorry I did something so stupid to put them all out her, but I'm very thankful for them," Helton said.

Loftis says he is proud of the team's fast response. And he offers advice to others who find may themselves in Helton's situation.

"Material items can be replaced. When you put yourself at risk it's extremely dangerous and it's just not worth it," Loftis said.

Loftis said he hopes to get even more people trained for rescue missions just like the well rescue.

Helton says his phone is still down in the well.