Woman falls on Easter sunset hike, airlifted to hospital with facial injuries

A Life Flight helicopter prepares to take off after picking up a woman in her 60s who fell off a 10-foot drop along the hike to "The Vortex" near Lower Sand Cove Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, April 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kevin Dye, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A woman fell off a 10-foot drop while hiking near Lower Sand Cove Reservoir in Dammeron Valley Sunday evening.

A Dammeron Valley Fire truck responds to a woman who fell off a 10-foot drop along the hike to “The Vortex” near Lower Sand Cove Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, April 1, 2018 | Photo courtesy of Kevin Dye, St. George News

She was hiking on the trail from “The Vortex,” a popular hike to a bowl-shaped rock formation off Lower Sand Cove Road, when she lost her balance, tripped and fell off a 10-foot drop, Dammeron Valley Fire Chief Kevin Dye said. The woman, who Dye said is in her 60s, was with guides on the hike to see the sunset.

Despite the limited cell phone service in the area, Dye said, the people she was with were able to call 911 at 8:39 p.m.

The woman had several facial injuries, Dye said, adding that she was not responding to questions when emergency personnel arrived.

“She thought Ronald Reagan was president,” Dye said, “so there was most likely a concussion and loss of consciousness.”

An Intermountain Life Flight helicopter crew was called. After being carried by emergency responders 500 yards, the woman was airlifted to the hospital at 10:45 p.m.

May 2017 file photo shows the rock formation called “The Vortex,” which is close to where a woman fell and injured herself near Lower Sand Cove Reservoir, Washington County, Utah, May 7, 2017 | Photo by Grady Sinclair, St. George News

The hour-long trail to “The Vortex” is an “advanced hike,” Dye said, and people should take precautions when hiking the trail, especially when it starts to get dark.

The trail meanders on slick rock sandstone and is lined by steep drop-offs in some places. Because of private property in the area, Dye said, people are actually supposed to be out of the trailhead for “The Vortex” hike after dark.

The Santa Clara-Ivins Fire Department and Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue also responded to the scene.

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

Email: sricks@stgnews.com

Twitter:  @STGnews | @SpencerRicks

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • JudyL April 3, 2018 at 10:52 am

    ‘The Bowl’. A recently popular misconception is the name ‘Vortex’. It is not ‘The Vortex’. It has been known by local residents for more than a hundred years, (as you can see from some of the older names listed there), as ‘The Bowl’. Please do not perpetuate this mistake any more.

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