Life Flight rescues 12-year-old boy from Mount Timpanogos

MOUNT TIMPANOGOS (ABC 4 Utah) - A family hike to the top of Mount Timpanogos turned into a harrowing rescue for a family from Las Vegas Wednesday afternoon.

The Earl family from Las Vegas was returning from the summit around 2 p.m.  when their 12-year-old son fell and severely cut his right leg near Emerald Lake.

"We were crossing a snow field, it's snowy," Anthony's mother Elizabeth Earl told ABC4 News. "He slipped and there was a sharp rock and just came and sliced him across the front of his shin below his knee and it was open all the way to the bone so we knew he was not going to be walking out of there under his own power."

Anthony's family taped up the cut and used their cell phone to call for help but rescue chopper had nowhere to land on the steep rocky mountainside.

"Once we realized we couldn't land next to the patient then they called for the hoist ship and we're out of Ogden," Life Flight paramedic Rick Black said. "We're the only hoist ship really, in the United States as far as a civilian helicopter is concerned."

A paramedic was lowered down to Anthony, gave him first aid and then attached him to a harness to be lifted about 50 feet up into the helicopter.

"We were a little nervous about the idea of the flight, you know hanging below a helicopter," Mrs. Earl said. "But grateful that they had that option because I know they couldn't land anywhere so that was the only way out so that's what he did."

Black said Anthony was in good spirits during the short flight to the parking lot at the Mt. Timpanogos trailhead, just off the Alpine Loop.

"He was kind of excited about the ride," Black said. "He had a big smile on his face on the way down. He kept pointing out hikers on the ground. For him it was quite an adventure."

Anthony was transferred to a second helicopter and flown to Primary Children's Medical Center in Salt Lake City.

Ground crews would have had to work well into the night to get Anthony down.

"We'd be talking at least 5 of 6 hours, maybe more, if we had to roll him down that trail with a wheeled Stokes," Utah County Sheriffs Sgt. Spencer Cannon said. "That becomes very risky because his condition could deteriorate and there's risk to the rescuers themselves. So to see it come together the way this one did with no further injury to the victim and no injuries at all to any of the rescuers and the helicopters up and down numerous times safely, we're pretty happy about that."

At least Anthony and his six other family members reached the top of Mt. Timpanogos before their day went downhill.

"This was the second time Anthony has made it to the peak and I think it may be his last," Mrs. Earl said. "He's not too excited about doing it again."

More Stories

Latest News

Video Center