News short: Life Flight aids injured hiker from Chuckwalla Trail

Life Flight taking off from Chuckwalla Trailhead to transport 71-year-old injured man to the hospital for ankle injury, St. George, Utah, Aug. 20, 2016 Photo by Ric Wayman, ST. George News

ST. GEORGE — A 71-year-old man injured while hiking the popular Chuckwalla and interconnecting trails in the Red Cliffs Reserve Saturday was found by mountain bikers who called 911 and the man was airlifted to the hospital.

Bench in memorial to Dr. Paul Navar on Paradise Rim, where he died of a heart attack, inscribed with one of his life-mottos: "It's not about how long you live, it's about how well you live." Red Cliffs National Recreation Area, Washington County, Utah, May 22, 2015 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News
This May 2015 photo for illustration shows Paradise Rim which is part of the network of trails in Red Cliffs National Recreation Area that may be accessed from the Chuckwalla Trailhead off state Route 18, Washington County, Utah, May 22, 2015 | Photo by Joyce Kuzmanic, St. George News

Just before 8 a.m. Saturday emergency personnel were dispatched to a reported ankle injury in the Chuckwalla Trailhead of Paradise Canyon in the Red Cliffs Reserve off state Route 18 in St. George. The trailhead leads to a few miles of interconnecting rock and red dirt trails well-trafficked by hikers, mountain bikers and even horseback riders.

As five St. George firefighters and two EMTs from Gold Cross Ambulance were en route on foot to help the injured man they discovered he was actually farther down the trails than previously reported and that initial injury reports included a compound fracture, St. George Fire Battalion Chief Robert Hooper said.

At that point Intermountain Life Flight was dispatched to the area and was able to locate the man quickly, Hooper said. He was then transported by air directly to Dixie Regional Medical Center in St. George.

“He was already at the hospital before fire crews were even halfway there,” the battalion chief said, “mainly because of the distance.”

Because responders from St. George Fire Department never spoke with the man and did not assess his condition, Hooper was not able to speak more particularly to the nature of his injuries.

This report is based on preliminary information provided by emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

St. George News Reporter Ric Wayman contributed to this report.


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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.




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1 Comment

  • .... August 21, 2016 at 10:26 am

    This is great news. the injured man was found and cared for and received professional medical attention in a timely manner. .St George has the best in law enforcement and fire fighters and SAR we should be so blessed to have these people protect and serve our community. .Praise the Lord !

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