Man suffers serious injury after fall from steep embankment

ST. GEORGE — A man was transported to the hospital with serious injuries after he went hurtling more than 70 feet down a hill when a rock he was standing broke away near the Dixie Sugarloaf early Saturday morning.

View from where man fell when rocks he was standing on broke away Saturday near Dixie Sugarloaf, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Shortly after midnight firefighters and officers were dispatched on a report that a man in his late teens or early 20s had fallen from an embankment to the south of Red Hills Parkway, St. George Fire Captain Scott Peacock said.

Upon arrival, responders called in extra manpower when they found the young man approximately half way down the hill between Red Hills Parkway and St. George Boulevard near North 400 East.

“We didn’t know originally where he was on the hill, so when we found him, we knew we would need help since he was located so far up the side of the hill,” Peacock said.

Intermountain Life Flight was also dispatched to the area and remained at the scene in the event air transport was necessary.

The man fell between 20 to 30 feet in a “free fall” after one of the rocks he was standing on broke and gave way, Peacock said, but the exact distance was difficult to determine because the area was so dark at the time.

St. George Police officers and flight crew from Intermountain Life Flight assist in rescue of man near Dixie Sugarloaf Saturday, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

After landing, he then tumbled more than 50 feet down the side of the hill and was initially unresponsive according to witnesses at the scene but was conscious by the time his friend, a girl, reached him and called 911.

Firefighters set up a low angle line and Stokes basket before making their way to the injured man, Peacock said, and then spoke to his “girlfriend” who said she attempted to bring him down by herself but quickly realized she needed help.

The girl friend told firefighters that immediately after he went off the side of the hill, she ran down after him but started tumbling down the hill herself due to the steep grade and rocky terrain. Once she reached him, she realized he was seriously injured and waited with him for help to arrive.

Two bystanders sitting just feet from the couple at the top of the hill witnessed the accident and immediately called 911.

“Right as the kid stood up he went into a free fall down the hill,” one witness said, explaining how quickly the incident occurred.

Daytime photo of the embankment where a man fell near Dixie Sugarloaf, St. George, Utah, July 1, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The witness also said the man’s girlfriend called down to him immediately after the fall, but with no response, she ran around the embankment and down the hill “so quickly it was amazing she wasn’t seriously injured herself.”

Once the man was stabilized, he was loaded into the Stokes basket as firefighters, officers and the helicopter flight crew carried him down the hill to a waiting ambulance.

The man was then ground transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center in stable condition but with serious injuries.

Monday, the man injured in incident, telephoned St. George News, identifying himself as Cody Yates. He said:

I fractured my pelvic bone in two different places and I fractured my tailbone. … Pretty much, I have to use a walker, I haven’t been able to walk for the past two days, but once I’m able to it’s going to take eight-10 weeks before I’m able to walk without a walker.

The St. George Fire Department, St. George Police Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and Intermountain Life Flight responded and assisted with the scene.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. note: Yates clarified in his phone call to St. George News that the girl with him was a friend he had just met, not a girlfriend. This report is revised, except as to quotes from witnesses and responders, accordingly.

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Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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7 Comments

  • Foxyheart July 1, 2017 at 5:34 pm

    “approximately” It is “approximately” not approxamately as labeled 2x on the photo………

  • youcandoit July 2, 2017 at 10:27 am

    It seems there’s a lot of accidents. Is there a time frame these people can be in the area? And due to these accidents can the city post signs or barriers so people don’t lean over and fall.

    • Lastdays July 2, 2017 at 1:01 pm

      Red Hills Parkway had a parking lot next to road where he fell. There is NO curfew for adults to park and look at the city.
      And, it’s really, really difficult to legislate common sense to the public.

      • youcandoit July 8, 2017 at 3:32 pm

        Just curious because there is curfew hours at the other parks with no age limits. And it always takes a few idiots to ruin it for everyone else.

  • Bender July 2, 2017 at 10:31 am

    I gotta wonder what possible benefit having that $10 million helicopter dispatched a few blocks had.

    • Lastdays July 2, 2017 at 1:06 pm

      Life flight is usually called for a trauma that is more than what local Level II Trauma can handle. Or, just eliminating an ambulance ride for quicker ER care. Many times they end up going to Las Vegas to their Level 1 Trauma Center.

  • Law24 July 3, 2017 at 12:39 pm

    It costs you, the taxpayer, absolutely nothing for Lifeflight to respond. It also costs the patient nothing. The only time the patient/patient’s insurance is charged is if the patient is actually loaded up into the helicopter and it takes off. Stop whining.

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