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Man in critical condition after falling 200 feet in Little Cottonwood Canyon

Posted at 3:47 PM, Mar 30, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-31 00:45:39-04

LITTLE COTTONWOOD CANYON, Utah -- A man is in critical condition after Unified Police said he fell an estimated 200 feet in the upper Lisa Falls area of Little Cottonwood Canyon Friday.

Det. Ken Hansen of the Unified Police Department said they responded to the incident around 3:40 p.m. He said the man fell while hiking with a friend. That friend had enough cell service to call 911.

Steep, rocky terrain along with thick brush made it difficult for the three Search and Rescue crews to find the man, he and rescuers said.

"Finding him was a tough one to start with, because you really can't see anything," said Ryan Cuzme, a Search and Rescue volunteer.

On top of that, they had to race against time and get the man down as quickly as possible because of the condition he was in, he and Hansen explained.

According to Hansen, the man was barely breathing and unconscious.

"It's daunting and you don't know how it's going to go, but you tackle it one step at a time," Cuzme said.

The DPS helicopter used its hoist to bring the man down to Little Cottonwood Canyon Road. On the side of the road, paramedics from AirMed and Unified Fire spent a great deal of time intubating and stabilizing the man.

"Speed was really important in trying to get someone to him, stabilize him as much as possible," Hansen said. "Most of that medical stabilization had to happen here on the ground, down here on the road."

He said it was essentially a makeshift ER.

"He had to have that treatment, or he may not have made it to the hospital," Hansen said.

Eventually, paramedics loaded the unconscious man into the AirMed helicopter, and it took off for the hospital around 6 p.m.

At 10:30 p.m. Unified Police said the man was still listed in critical condition, and that his parents in Ohio have been notified.