- The Washington Times - Wednesday, February 21, 2007

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Just a month after his 16-story fall and merciful landing onto a hotel overhang, Joshua Hanson is off crutches from a broken leg, mostly healed from his other injuries and thankful he has no memory of the plunge.

“I feel really lucky I don’t remember it because I probably would have some pretty serious nightmares,” said the 29-year-old bar owner from Blair, Wis., who crashed out a hotel window Jan. 20 after a night drinking with his friends.

“I’m walking without a crutch, I’m getting around pretty good. I mean, I feel really good,” Mr. Hanson said Tuesday after a couple of weeks of recuperation at his parents’ home.

His two collapsed lungs and torn trachea have healed, and he is slowly returning to work at Heine’s bar.

Mr. Hanson recalls drinking with his pals at a couple of bars in St. Paul before going back to the Minneapolis Hyatt Regency. They stopped by a darts tournament at the hotel before heading to their rooms in the early morning hours.

“Then we come back off the elevator and that’s when, for whatever reason … I decided to take off running,” Mr. Hanson said. “I don’t know why I took off running or what really led up to it, but — I did.”

Sprinting down the hallway alone, he said, he was confused by the reflection on the window pane at the end. With a crash, the 275-pound former prep football player and wrestler broke through a double-paned window with a safety bar.

He fell onto an asphalt-covered overhang one floor above the street. The overhang probably saved his life because it helped cushion his fall, said emergency officials and a physics professor.

Asked whether he could explain why he survived, Mr. Hanson said: “I wish I knew, for real I do. Somebody had a plan for me.” He added that one reason he survived is his 8-year-old daughter, Kaitlyn.

The fall has made him more contemplative and has given him a fresh perspective, he said, though he didn’t know whether it would cause him to drink less.

“I went to church the first Sunday I got home, no doubt about it,” he said. “There ain’t too many days go by that I don’t thank God that I’m still here.”

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