Hiker Falls 100 Feet, Found By Volunteers

Coconino Search and Rescue locates man at Woods Canyon


Although the Coconino County seat of Flagstaff is more than 130 miles from Woods Canyon Lake, it was that county's search and rescue unit that responded to a call for help from near the high country lake.

"We are the second largest county so we have a lot to cover," said Gerry Blair of the Coconino County Sheriff's Office. "The lake is in our county."

The incident began to unfold June 1 when the CCSO received a report of an overdue hiker from near Woods Canyon.

Hours later, a Arizona Department of Public Safety helicopter from Flagstaff spotted a 31-year-old Flagstaff man near the Woods Canyon Lake rim.

Minutes earlier, deputies had found his car parked near Fox Ranch Road.

Due to the Rim's rugged terrain, CC Search and Rescue volunteers were called to hike into the area, Blair said.

The rescuers eventually found the Flagstaff man who had fallen earlier in the day and injured his head.

Rescuers carried the man to safety and later transported to the Flagstaff Medical Center for care.

His condition is unknown and he could not be reached for comment.

From the location he was found, investigators suspect he might have tumbled or fallen as far as 100 feet.

In Coconino County, Search and Rescue (SAR) is made of a full-time sergeant, deputies and more than 100 unpaid volunteers who are specially trained.

The unit averages over 130 mission calls each year and volunteers donate about 2,600 hours to searches.

It was the Coconino SAR who last week recovered the body of 40-year-old Payson pilot Kermeth S. Owens after his single engine homemade plane crashed on the eastern border of the county in the Navajo Nation.

The rescue unit also responded last week to a call for help near the Arizona-Utah border. There, searches found a 17-year-old boy who had fallen to his death while hiking.

"Like I said, we cover a lot of area," Blair said.

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