"13 Inches Saved My Life..."

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He was trapped in a trench for four hours on Friday and at times he thought he would never see his family again, but Jeff Schnider said Saturday the Lord and rescue personnel got him through.

Schnider was sore Saturday, very sore in fact. He said it felt like he was hit by a Mack truck.

When Channel 6 News spoke with Schnider he was moving like he had had an intense workout the day before, but that is what four hours buried in a trench up to your waist will do.

Jeff is thankful he is alive and especially thankful for a 13-inch gap in the trench that he feels God left for him.

Moments after being freed from the trench, Schnider was on his way to the Nebraska Medical Center. It was the first time during his four-hour ordeal that he felt he would make it.

His 14-year career as a plumber has taught him trenches are always dangerous. "There is always the risk of a second cave-off and I actually thought that that was going to happen."

Schnider was conscious the entire time and appreciates the effort of his co-workers to save him and the first responders who freed him. He also knows there was a higher power looking out for him on Friday.

"Thank you to the good Lord above and to the firemen and paramedics that were there. If it wasn't for them I probably wouldn't be sitting here talking to you right now and thanks to everybody."

Jeff said his ankle, knee and shoulder took a beating in the trench and rescue so he might not be able to return to work on Monday. When he does return to the job he says the events on Friday afternoon will weigh heavily on his mind. "I'm kind of scared to get down in the ditches again. I was talking to my wife about it. I'm scared."

Understandable for a man who was just over a foot away from death, but with his faith and family with him, there is nothing Jeff can’t overcome.