Life
Train passenger looks out window and discovers missing hiker with a broken leg
As soon as the passenger spotted the missing person they sprang into action.
Cherie Gozon
11.03.22

Going on a hike and being one with nature is a beautiful thing. With all the stressful stuff going around, including your work, it’s great to go and unwind sometimes.

Unsplash - Kalen Emsley
Source:
Unsplash - Kalen Emsley

However, it’s not an assurance that everything will go well. Nature also has a bit of danger, especially if you come unprepared.

Unsplash - Kevin Wolf
Source:
Unsplash - Kevin Wolf

A tourist who went on a hike was found along a riverbank down a mountain. The worst could have happened if not for a train passenger who noticed her asking for help.

Fell Off the Trail

A woman in her 20s from Aztec, New Mexico, went on a hiking trip in the Deer Park area along the Colorado Trail. She went off-path and didn’t follow the trail. Instead, she headed south along the Animas riverbank.

YouTube Screenshot - CBS Colorado
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - CBS Colorado

That’s when her worst fear happened. She fell off along the mountain’s side while taking photos. She also broke her leg and was forced to spend two consecutive nights in the wilderness without knowing how she could get out.

YouTube Screenshot - 9News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 9News

The woman wore a tank top and shorts, but she had no other clothing. She had no food, no survival gear, and very little water at her disposal. Slowly but surely, she found a spot where she could easily be seen and started calling for help.

A Sight to See

It was a beautiful Monday morning to go sightseeing. The Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train is a popular small diesel engine that people often ride to appreciate the scenic views of Silverton. But the passengers of that morning’s trip didn’t expect what the beautiful mountains had in store for them.

YouTube Screenshot - 9News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 9News

One train passenger spotted a woman who was crying for help. She told the train conductor, who immediately asked for an emergency response team to assist them in their rescue.

It just so happened that the two train staff members, Nick and Kylah Breeden, were La Plata County medics. They stopped the train and asked the passengers to wait as they tried to rescue the woman. Nick crossed the river back and forth while Kylah tended to the woman in need.

Search and Rescue for the Lost Hiker

The couple got supplies and materials on the train to support the hiker’s broken leg. Kylah stayed with her and kept her warm as they waited for the Silverton Medical Rescue Team.

Once they arrived, they used some ropes to transport her across the river and back to Deer Park, where a helicopter was waiting. She was then transported to Montrose Hospital. Luckily, aside from the broken leg, she turned out just fine.

Teamwork at its Finest

San Juan County’s Office of Emergency Management posted this impressive rescue operation on their Facebook page. In that post, they thanked all the people involved, especially the train staff.

YouTube Screenshot - 9News
Source:
YouTube Screenshot - 9News

They also sent out a reminder to those who want to hike the Colorado Trail to keep these things in mind:

Unsplash - Thom Holmes
Source:
Unsplash - Thom Holmes
  • Let someone know where you’re going and when you’re expected to be back.
  • Carry a GPS device that alerts emergency personnel in case something goes wrong.
  • Be prepared to spend the night in the wilderness.

Share this incredible search-and-rescue story to your friends, and give these life-saving tips for their next hiking trip.

By Cherie Gozon
hi@sbly.com
Cherie Gozon is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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