'It's a miracle,' doctor says after SUV nearly falls off cliff

By Derrick Rose - bio l email

BLOWING ROCK, NC (WBTV) - Dr. Walter Holloway has a new outlook every time he comes to work: appreciate every day as if it's your last.

Holloway thought his last day was Sunday when he nearly fell off a steep cliff in his SUV.

Holloway was moving his SUV to lower ground near the Cliff Dwellers Inn in Blowing Rock, in anticipation of winter weather.

Coming down the driveway, he approached a turn next to the cliff. Holloway said he made the turn, but the wheels kept going toward the edge.

The SUV rolled onto its side bracing against a nest of narrow branches and trees.

"I thought I would plunge onto the road," Holloway recounted.

Asked if he thought he had met his end, Holloway replied, "Yeah, I did."

Sitting near the edge, Holloway had a clear view of the drop below his vehicle.

"I peeped down, but I only did it once," he said.

Waiting for help to arrive, Holloway knew he had to be calm and be still.

"I was laying on the passenger window and I hoped it would hold; Toyota's got a good window," Holloway laughed.

During the wait, Holloway realized more than just the trees were holding his SUV in place.

"I knew it was a miracle and that I was protected because [the SUV] isn't supposed to stop on that tree," he recalled, "it shouldn't stop a vehicle of that size and it did and I say it's a miracle."

"We were surprised to see the vehicle didn't come off the cliff onto Highway 321," Blowing Rock Fire & Rescue team member Aaron Miller told WBTV.

Crews credit a 9-year-old boy in a passing car for spotting Holloway's SUV. The boy alerted his parents who called 911.

Miller said crews used a tow truck and chains to hold the SUV in place. They also used a high-angle ladder truck to lower a bucket to help pull Holloway to safety.

"He seemed pretty relaxed and so happy that he was on the ground," Miller said, "It was a pretty close call."

Blowing Rock News photojournalist David Rogers snapped several photos SUV on the cliff's edge fueling media attention to Holloway's story making him an instant celebrity.

"They can't believe it's me," Holloway said of people who had seen the pictures, "They saw the vehicle but didn't know I was the one."

Surprisingly, Holloway went to work the morning after the ordeal. He said he wanted his patients and friends to know he was doing okay. He said he decided to share his story publicly at the urging of assistants Robin and Jessica.

Moving forward, Holloway said each day is a miracle. Anyone who meets him knows every prescription will come with a heavy dose of faith.

"There are angels around; for people who don't think there are angels around, tell them to look at this picture."

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