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Two Hikers Seriously Injured In Consecutive Falls

Buffalo National River

National Park News

Two people hiking in the Lost Valley area on Monday, October 24th, were seriously injured in consecutive falling accidents. Brian Anderson, 22, and Jennifer Anderson, 23, were hiking with another couple in the Eden Falls area when they decided to climb to another cave beyond the end of the designated trail.  Brian Anderson entered a V-shaped canyon slot, where he slipped on wet leaves, slid approximately 20 feet, and fell another 40 to 50 feet to a rock basin above Eden Falls Cave.  Jennifer Anderson heard the sounds of the accident; while investigating, she, too, fell down the same slope. One of their friends was able to reach them while the other left the scene to call for help. Park dispatch was notified in the early evening, and Buffalo National River Search and Rescue was called out. A unified command was established that included the park and Newton County Search and Rescue. First responders arrived to assist the couple at 7 p.m. and NorthArk medics arrived at approximately 9 p.m. and began patient care on scene. A total of 36 search and rescue personnel assembled two high-angle “lowers” to safely transport the victims downslope, where they were transferred to a litter. The first lower involved a drop of 30 feet; the second lower was 40 feet. The carryout team transported the victims via litter two miles to the Lost Valley trailhead, where they were transferred to an ambulance and transported to a waiting medevac helicopter on Highway 43. Owing to the severity of his injuries, Brian Anderson was transported first, followed by Jennifer Anderson. He sustained a compound fracture of both bones of his right forearm and right ankle as well as head injuries. She suffered two fractured ankles.



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