After a night out with his fiancé, last week, Jose Velazquez disappeared without a trace. Today he is recovering in a Houston-area hospital after he was found five days after he slammed his car into the woods.
According to KTRK, Velazquez was reported missing by family members after he didn’t show up for work on Wednesday.
Velazquez’s fiancé, Chanel Nelson, told KTRK, she heard from Velazquez’s family that he had gone missing after they had a few drinks in downtown Houston.
Velazquez, 32, was confirmed to be found by Texas EquuSearch on Sunday afternoon at about 3:25PM.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. After His Wreck, Velazquez Was Found Alive Five Days Later Lying Next to His Damaged Car
Although some reports say Velazquez was found in his car, officials say in the midst of his accident Velazquez was thrown from the driver’s seat. According to KTRK, Velazquez’s damaged white Honda Accord led officials to him.
His car went off the road near Highway 242 in Montgomery County, per KTRK. Velazquez was found alive, although he was severely dehydrated and suffered from a collapsed lung.
Volunteers with Texas EquuSearch spotted a white bumper close to where Velazquez’s car went off the road. They were also able to ping Velazquez’s phone which ultimately led them to find the 32-year-old Houston man.
2. Some Are Deeming Velazquez’s Survival a ‘Miracle’
Although Velazquez is still recovering in the hospital, officials are hopeful that he will survive this traumatizing experience.
“I don’t know how he (survived) the initial wreck, let alone as bad as he was injured five days later… to still be alive… that’s why we do what we do. We believe in miracles and here was one today,” Tim Miller from Texas EquuSearch told KTRK.
When he was a found, Velazquez was weak but a volunteer said that he could talk. He allegedly asked for juice boxes and food from Sonic.
3. Velazquez’s Injuries Are Not Though to Be Life-Threatening
According to the report sent out by Texas EquuSearch, Velazquez’s injuries are serious but are not life-threatening.
“Though he has multiple serious injuries; they are not thought to be life threatening, and it is thought that he will survive,” the report said. “Jose was badly injured and trapped in the woods for five days without food or water. Thankfully, he has been found alive, and we hope he will now have the opportunity to live another day, and many more years.”
He is recovering at Memorial Hermann Hospital in The Woodlands, Texas.
4. Velazquez’s Car Was so Far in the Woods No One Was Able to See It from the Road
A volunteer from Texas EquuSearch told the Houston Chronicle that Velazquez’s car was so far into the woods no driver riding by would be able to see it.
“The car just plunged into the woods and nobody could see it if they were driving by,” David White, of Texas EquuSearch told the Houston Chronicle.
First responders had to blaze through several layers of brush prior to getting to Velazquez’s body.
“We’re very proud of our search team’s efforts, and that’s exactly why we never give up hope,” Frank Black with Texas EquuSearch said.
5. This Isn’t the First Time a Crash Has Happened at That Particular Intersection
According to Sgt. Erik Burse, spokesman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, similar crashes have happened at the intersection of Texas 242 and Farm to Market Road 1488.
Velazquez was likely heading north on Texas 242 when he reeled 100 yards from the intersection, Sgt. Burse told the Houston Chronicle. Velazquez’s vehicle was found upside down.
Family members say Velazquez was on his way to his cousin’s house when the crash happened.
Luckily for Velazquez and his family, he seems to be in good spirits since he has been admitted to the hospital.
“He’s laughing and making jokes,” Tony Velazquez, Jose’s cousin said.