LINCOLN COUNTY, Mo. ( - A 17-year-old boy is recovering after his hike took a near deadly turn Sunday morning.

Ben Foster said he was exploring Frenchman’s Bluff Trail in Cuivre River State Park in Lincoln County when his life flashed before his eyes.

“All I could think about was what's going to happen next? Will I be able to get out of this?” he said.

Foster was hiking near the 120-foot bluff when his foot slipped on a rock, sending him airborne. He tumbled 50 feet. A branch nearby kept him from rolling further.

"I just flung my left arm out and grabbed onto it somehow, and just held on," Foster said.

Foster said minutes felt like hours as paramedics and fire crews worked to find him. Firefighters from Lincoln County Fire and Winfield-Foley Fire set up a series of ropes, allowing rescuers to get Foster down the bluff.

He was placed on a rescue boat and taken to an area hospital. His mother Maria Branon said she was unsure if her son would ever walk again.

"My heart stopped, I didn't know what to think and plus being a nurse, I froze, I didn't know if he's alive. How bad is he injured?" said Branon.

Foster escaped the accident with a broken clavicle and minor cuts and bruises. He credits first responders and his crucifix necklace he was wearing for saving his life.

"I felt God grab on to me and pull on me tight," he said.

Branon said there were no signs near the bluff warning hikers of potential dangers. She said she would like to see a warning posted before someone else is hurt.

Copyright 2019 KMOV (Meredith Corporation). All Rights Reserved

News 4 Reporter

Emma Hogg is a general assignment reporter for News 4 St. Louis

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