Washington Crews Rescue Injured Hiker


An elderly hiker who fell nearly 200 feet was rescued 10 hours later near North Bend, said Deputy Travis DeFries of the King County Sheriffs Office.

The 73-year-old man from Santa Cruz, Calif., left early Tuesday morning on a solo day-hike along the Pacific Crest Trail.

He was on a portion of the trail that goes through the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area, which is approximately bounded by Interstate 90 and Snoqualmie Pass to the south and U.S. Route 2 and Stevens Pass to the north.

DeFries said the man had hiked several other portions of the trail over the years.

At about 10 a.m. he slipped off the trail and tumbled approximately 200 feet below. As he lay there, with multiple broken bones and other injuries to his head, hands, legs and spine, all he could do was to yell out for help, DeFries said.

It was not until almost 8 p.m. that another hiker had heard the victims pleas for help, and he made his way down to the location.

The man in his 30s called 911 and built a small fire to assist with being found by rescuers.

Once located, medics from Snoqualmie Fire Department were lowered down and they treated him and prepared him to be airlifted.

Shortly after midnight, crews were able to hoist the man back up into the helicopter, Guardian One, and transport him to Harborview Medical Center, DeFries said.

At about 2 a.m., the helicopter was able to retrieve the rescuers left behind, including the hiker who first found the victim, and bring them back out to I-90 near Snoqualmie Pass.

The injured hiker's condition is not known.

Copyright 2009 by KIROTV.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.