Critically injured hiker rescued from Oak Creek Canyon

Posted: Updated:
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

FLAGSTAFF, Ariz. -- Multiple agencies helped rescue a hiker who was critically injured in a fall in Oak Creek Canyon Saturday morning.

The Coconino County Sheriff's Office received a report around 7:40 a.m. about a person who had fallen down a cliff in the west fork of Oak Creek, west of Buzzard Point.

According to Search and Rescue Coordinator Aaron Dick, the person had hiked about 200 feet below the rim of the canyon and climbed a tree. The hiker fell from the tree about 30 feet to the ground, then rolled and fell another 80 to 100 feet down steep, rocky terrain.

Sheriff's deputies responded along with a search and rescue team, Guardian Medical Transport, Guardian Air Transport and Arizona Department of Public Safety Air Rescue.

Dick said the hiker was found near a cliff edge and given care while a technical rescue system was set up.

A heli-rescue technician from the search and rescue team rappelled from the helicopter and packaged the hiker for a short-haul rescue, which involves flying a patient and rescue technician suspended at the end of a rope about 150 feet below the helicopter to a safe landing zone.

The hiker and technician were flown to Fry Park, where the hiker was transferred to Guardian Air Transport to be flown to Flagstaff Medical Center.

Search and rescue personnel then helped bystanders and other rescuers up a steep slope to the rim.