Frank Hall, 85; his wife, Margie Lou Hall, 76; and their friend Janis Kinard, 62, were returning from a day trip to Western North Carolina at about 5 p.m. Saturday.
The friends from Greenville County had spent the day shopping and sightseeing. They were traveling home on U.S. 178 in Transylvania County. Frank Hall was driving the car on a windy stretch of road, when he lost control and went off the road.
North Carolina Highway Patrol said the accident happened 1.3 miles south of State Road 1141. Kinard said the car rolled multiple times down a steep embankment and came to a stop about 100 feet down the mountain side.
Frank Hall said all of the windows of the Subaru were shattered. Hall said his wife and friend could not get out of the vehicle.
Hall said he was able to climb out of the driver's side window. He said as he struggled to get up the embankment, he "heard God's voice" in his head encouraging him to press on.
Hall said he found a tree branch and used it as a walking stick to make his way up the steep incline. Hall said there was no cell phone service.
Hall made it to the top of the embankment, where he tried to flag down cars for help, but multiple cars passed him until one finally stopped. Hall said the driver stayed at the scene and sent his wife on until she could get to a location on the mountain where she could get cell phone service to call for help.
Hall said crews had to cut his wife and Kinard out of the Subaru. Hall said the Highway Patrol trooper did not believe that he had hiked up the embankment. Hall said the patrolman told him that people who go off the road in that area do not survive due to the steep embankment.
Frank Hall said he is still sore but was not seriously injured. Margie Lou Hall and Janis Kinard were hospitalized but have since been released. They are all expect to be OK.
No one from Highway Patrol could be reached for comment on the incident, but Frank Hall told News 4 that the people who own the property where the Subaru landed want to put a guardrail along that stretch of U.S. 178.