Sunrise saviors: Sheriff and son rescue girl from isolated car wreck

Photo by Trevor Cutler


Casey Karhan, 23, has no memory of the accident that left her in the middle of a field in the middle of January during a night when it was below freezing. And that may be a good thing.

Driving home from work around 10 p.m. on Jan. 20, Karhan ran her black pickup truck off the road on U.S. Hwy 290 West just inside the Blanco County line. She had been at work since eight that morning. She believes she fell asleep at the wheel.

Top: The battered Ford pickup truck that Casey Karhan of Blanco rolled off an embankment on Hwy 290 West Above: Karhan meets her sunrise saviors, Sheriff Gary Cutler and his son, Trevor Cutler, two months after they found her lying in a field. They thought she was dead. (Photo by Kim Hilsenbeck)

Nine hours later, a father and son heading out on an early morning hunt happened to see Karhan’s black truck off the side road down an incline.

The pair turned around and went back to see what happened.

Karhan may consider herself fortunate that the men who saw that truck were Hays County Sheriff, Gary Cutler, and his son Trevor Cutler.

Trevor said he saw the vehicle out of the corner of his eye while looking for deer.

Cutler said he and Trevor climbed down the embankment and checked the truck, which was severely damaged, according to the father and son.

The pickup was empty, and initially they thought maybe the owners would come back for it when it was light; dawn was just breaking in the sky. The sheriff then spotted Karhan about 20 yards away, lying on her side.

She was wearing shorts because she worked in a hot kitchen as a prep cook.

The men immediately called 9-1-1.

“I called dispatch thinking we had a fatality,” Cutler said.

They were both surprised when Trevor saw Karhan’s stomach and chest still moving, barely, as she breathed.

Karhan suffered a broken femur, a fractured tibia, a fractured pelvis, several broken ribs and some hearing loss in one ear. Yet she is grateful to be alive.

While she doesn’t remember the accident, she considers herself one lucky lady.

In Cutler’s office last Thursday, Karhan managed to walk in – no small feat given her recent injuries – and personally thank the two men who likely saved her life.

“Obviously I just want to thank both of y’all,” she said. “I mean, I wouldn’t be here obviously.”

Her voice was quiet and she appeared to be on the verge of tears. She looked down, then looked back up.

“But uh, I just, you know. I don’t know – y’all were just sent to me and I’m so grateful. I don’t know what I would do without both of y’all. Like I’m truly blessed and y’all just blessed my life; all of our lives.”

She was referring to her parents, Gay and Jim Karhan, who sat on a couch watching their daughter as she gave a heartfelt thanks to the Cutler men.

“It’s unbelievable how good we feel about it now,” Karhan’s dad said. “And how horrible we felt when we got the call. Nobody should live coming out of that truck.”

“We’re probably just as happy as you are,” Trevor said.

“We’re glad this story has a happy ending,” Sheriff Cutler said.

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