A 70-year-old man who’s chest was injured when his horse fell on top of him while hunting on Missionary Ridge was flown to Mercy Regional Medical Center on Saturday.
Despite approaching inclement weather conditions that would later bring pouring rain and cold wind to the area Saturday evening, the elements were not an issue during the rescue scenario.
“The weather was actually very nice, and it went really well,” said Butch Knowlton, director of La Plata County Emergency Preparedness, about the rescue. “The Flight for Life aircraft was readily available and was dispatched immediately to the scene.”
The extent of the man’s injuries have not been released.
“When a horse falls on top of you, you’re going to have some injuries; but as far as the extent, I don’t know. They were able to put him on a horse, and he was able to ride out a steep canyon to flat areas where the helicopter was able to land. That was a plus.”
La Plata County Search and Rescue responded to a 911 call about 10:30 a.m. Saturday. A companion of the injured man – neither were identified – rode on horseback out of the Bear Creek drainage – a steep and remote canyon south of Henderson Lake – to an area where he had cell service to place a cellphone call, Knowlton said.
“We dispatched the Flight for Life (helicopter), and we (got) search-and-rescue personnel going up there,” Knowlton said Saturday. “We (had) additional search-and-rescue staged in case we (couldn’t) ride him out of the canyon.”
The rescue went according to plan, and Knowlton was able to maintain communications with the man’s companion by cellphone, which aided coordination during the rescue.
The injured man was transported to the hospital about 4 p.m.
Knowlton said the incident likely stemmed from the difficult terrain.