Hiker trapped under fallen boulder
near Index dies
Second such technical rescue this year
due to falling rock
May 20, 2017
(INDEX, WA.) -- A young hiker who was trapped under a fallen boulder Friday near the town of Index in western Washington died from his injuries, according to responding fire officials.
Rescue team members at boulder field where fatal accident occurred. Photo: Snohomish County Fire District 7. LARGER IMAGES BELOW
Rescue team members at boulder field where fatal accident occurred. Photos: Snohomish County Fire District 7. CLICK TO ENLARGE
At 1:38 pm rescue crews from several area jurisdictions - Snohomish County Fire Districts # 26, 28, 7, 1 and the Everett Fire Dept. - were dispatched to perform a technical rescue for a 21-year old hiker who was trapped under a boulder on Forrest Service Road 6340.
He was in a group of four people who were hiking on a steep rock field near the Heybrook Lookout when the boulder he was on gave way.
The man was trapped underneath, according to a statement from Fire District 7. The other hikers called 911 and crews from the Snohomish County Technical Rescue team arrived.
They were able to access the hikers and bring equipment in by using a Polaris Ranger 6x6 and four wheel drive rescue vehicles.
Rescue teams set up a cable tension system to pull the boulder off of the man then used a rope system to bring him to the trail. Unfortunately, the man had succumbed to his injuries before crews arrived.
"This is the second technical rescue call of this nature this year, with someone climbing on a rock field with the rocks giving way and trapping a person," said Heather Chadwick Public Information Officer for Fire District 7.
"We urge all hikers to stay on the trails. We have had a very long, wet winter and the ground under the rocks is unstable. Do not climb on rock fields, and always hike in a group."
Hiking - a dangerous business
What happened to the young man who died near Index is, unfortunately not all that uncommon.
Hiking, it turns out, is dangerous business:
"The Centers for Disease Control has reported the third most common source of injury in the wild outdoors is hiking, second only to snow boarding and sledding. In fact, more injuries and deaths are ascribed to hiking each year than to inherently dangerous activities like rock climbing and mountaineering," wrote freelance writer Vicki Parker in an article published online in February of this year.
The largest percentage of hiking deaths for years have been consistently attributable to three things, she discovered:
1 lack of knowledge
2 lack of experience
3 poor judgment
And the deaths related to lack of knowledge and experience by far outnumber deaths attributed to falls.