Search and rescue extracts hiker pinned by boulder in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Posted at 5:00 PM, Oct 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-02 23:39:12-04

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah -- Search and rescue crews extracted a man who was pinned by a boulder in Little Cottonwood Canyon Sunday and flew him from the mountain in critical but stable condition.

According to crews at the scene, search and rescue was called around 3:12 p.m. regarding a trapped hiker. Around 7:30 p.m., crews flew the man off the mountain via helicopter.

Things began when a few people were hiking off-trail near Red Pine Lake on the White Pine Trailhead, Unified Police said. While hiking, a 33-year-old man grabbed a boulder, which fell and landed on top of him. The hiker was pinned from the waist down.

"It sounded like friends tried to dislodge the rock also, and they were unable to do so," Unified Police Lieutenant Brian Lohrke said.

The man was reported to be conscious and breathing after the rock fell.

The friends hiking with the man had cell service and called 911. "They were able to communicate with his friends at the scene, and they were able to describe what had happened," Lt. Lohrke said.

He also said the friends were able to send pictures of the area to help crews locate their position.

Crews from Unified Police and Unified Fire responded along with search and rescue personnel. They took several trips via a Department of Public Safety helicopter to fly in special equipment to lift the rock from the man.

"They didn't want to make the situation worse than it already was, in an already complex rescue. So they used the equipment to stabilize the area," he explained.

Plus, he said, crews battled incoming storms. They made it out before the weather got worse, and before nightfall swooped in.

He was flown from the mountain Sunday night. The man is reported to be in critical but stable condition.