FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- A 27-year-old man from the Phoenix area was crushed and trapped by a large boulder Tuesday morning, according to a spokesman for the Coconino County Sheriff's Office.
It happened at about 7 a.m. on Mount Elden Lookout Road, approximately 3.3 miles up from the bottom of Mount Elden in Flagstaff, Ariz.
The boulder, weighing more than 30 tons, slid down the mountainside as the victim was standing on Elden Lookout Road attempting to move another large boulder that had previously fallen onto the road.
Emergency personnel who responded discovered the four men the victim was traveling with removed him from underneath the boulder.
The victim’s legs and pelvic area appeared to have been crushed and severely injured by the weight of the boulder.
Due to the condition of the road, the responding ambulance and fire truck were not able to drive to the victim’s location and there was not a safe landing zone for a medical helicopter.
The victim was prepared for transport and placed in the rear of a sheriff's office SUV and driven to the waiting ambulance.
The ambulance transported the victim to the Flagstaff Medical Center where he is listed in critical but stable condition.
Investigators learned that the men were from the Phoenix area and were headed up the mountain with the intent of working on one of the radio towers.
One of the first rescuers to arrive from the Coconino County Sheriff's Office says the victim, whose name has not been released, was in major pain. They struggled to prepare him for transport to the hospital.
Sgt. Jason Lurkins blamed the rockslide on heavy rain.
"The ground is just saturated, and walking around up there, everything's loose," he told 3TV.
"It must have been a few smaller rocks which gave way, and then like domino's they kept coming down."
The Coconino National Forest has closed Elden Lookout Road and may be temporarily closing other trails and areas affected by the recent rains.
Current conditions can be found here: www.fs.usda.gov/coconino