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Off-Roader Cheats Death After Snapped Cable Sends Shackle Through Windshield

When a towing cable went through Caleb's windshield, he thought he was going to die.

Playing with cars is fun. That’s why you’re here reading this right now. As fun as cars can be, though, they aren’t toys—they’re heavy machinery, which means they can also be incredibly dangerous when things go wrong. This video puts things into perspective, after an off-road recovery nearly killed a driver.

The Popo_Patty YouTube channel’s host, Caleb, was off-roading last week with some friends in the snow when he slid his Ford Bronco off the trail into a deep embankment. That wasn’t the worst part, though. Sliding into deeper snow didn’t hurt Caleb, nor did it damage the car. But it did mean Caleb needed a rescue from a fellow off-roader, who owned a heavily modded Jeep Wrangler.

Caleb attached a kinetic towing rope to his Bronco and to a clevis on the rear bumper of the other driver’s Jeep, who attempted to pull him out. However, the Jeep was being driven aggressively, and its driver accelerated too much. That acceleration, coupled with Caleb’s subpar equipment, caused the soft shackle that had been connected to the Jeep to fail, sending it back toward the Bronco at a terrifying speed. You can see in the drone footage just how violently it retracts toward the Bronco’s windshield.


The soft shackle obliterated the driver’s side of Caleb’s windshield, hitting him in the shoulder, neck, and chin. He was immediately in immense pain, covered in blood, and fearing for his life. Thankfully, Caleb wasn’t as injured as he initially thought. Both he and his passenger thought the shackle had cut an artery in his neck, due to the amount of blood they saw. However, the blood was coming from a gash on his chin, and the pain on his neck was due to a second-degree burn from the towing rope at such high speed. His shoulder and chest were seriously bruised from the impact, too, but Caleb was released from the hospital that same day and made a full recovery in less than a week.

However, Caleb’s lack of serious injury was more luck than anything else, and things could have gone much worse. Caleb breaks down what went wrong and how to avoid similarly dangerous failures. And it really comes down to two things: use high-quality tools and never go full-throttle during a recovery pull. Off-roading is fun, but it isn’t a game. Things can go wrong in a blink, especially when recovering a stuck vehicle, and this video serves as a cautionary tale of those dangers and how to avoid them.

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