Man rescued from Red River Gorge crevice, taken to UK Hospital

gkocher1@herald-leader.comDecember 14, 2013 

A Cincinnati man was taken to University of Kentucky Chandler Hospital in Lexington after he fell 50 feet at Red River Gorge in Powell County, a Wolfe County rescuer said.

"He fell into a crack or crevice in a rock," said Eddie Conner of Wolfe County Search and Rescue. "He stepped on top of a ledge and slipped on some ice-covered rocks and then rolled down a slight slope and fell into that crevice."

The accident was reported shortly before 9:30 a.m. Saturday to the Powell County dispatch center, Conner said. The accident happened at the end of Tunnel Ridge Road on a trail that leads to Haystack Rock, Conner said.

A friend who was with the man called 911 to report the accident.

It took rescuers until about 7 p.m. to get the man out of the woods, Conner said. Two paramedics rappelled down to the spot where the man was, and then eased him out using a backboard.

"It was a very slow, long process, because the crevice he fell in wasn't wide enough for his own body, much less anybody else in there with him," Conner said.

The man, who was not identified, was taken by ambulance to the UK hospital because it was too foggy for a helicopter to come in for an airlift, Conner said.

"He had a broken leg" Conner said. "He also had a lot of bruises, cuts and scrapes on him. ...He had mild hypothermia and was going into shock from his injuries. They had him bundled and tarped real good."

Some 33 people responded from Menifee, Morgan, Powell and Wolfe counties, Conner said.

Local restaurants and a grocery supplied food to the hungry rescuers Saturday night.

Greg Kocher: (859) 231-3305. Twiter: @HLpublicsafety

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