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Man Killed In Effort To Rescue Injured Child

Timpanogos Cave National Monument

National Park News

On the afternoon of Sunday, September 24th, a three-year-old girl stepped too close to the edge of the cave trail and fell down a scree slope, coming to rest on a flat area about 75 feet below the trail. The girl was with her mother, older sister and brother, and two male family friends, one from Russia and the other from the Ukraine. They’d just completed a cave tour and were heading back down the paved trail to the visitor center when the accident occurred. Both family friends went down the slope to aid the girl. According to the man from the Ukraine, the man from Russia was moving very fast. He fell, and his momentum carried him past the child and over the edge of a cliff, where he disappeared from view. The interpretive ranger who had guided the family’s tour called for assistance and a second interpretive ranger responded. The park’s chief ranger and county dispatch were notified, and an emergency response was mobilized. Several members of the county SAR team were soon on scene and a medevac helicopter was dispatched to the park. A spotter in the helicopter located the man’s body in a drainage. When members of the rescue team reached his location, they found that he’d died of massive head and body trauma. A paramedic in the helicopter employed a hoist to extract the child, who was stabilized and flown by a second helicopter to Primary Children’s Hospital in Salt Lake City. SAR team members recovered the man’s body later that evening. Doctors found that the child had suffered a severe laceration to her forehead, but was free from fractures or internal bleeding. She was released from the hospital the following day.



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