Rescuers Called To Help Atv Rider, Hiker


With a man rolling a quad over himself and a dehydrated hiker in Box Canyon, another busy weekend left rescue workers exhausted.

Combine this weekend’s missions with those in the last three months and Tonto Rim Search and Rescue volunteers have carried, hoisted and searched for lost or injured hikers more than a dozen times.

When a quad rider rolled on Saturday, volunteers were called out to the Blattner Pit area, located at milepost 259 on Highway 260, east of Payson, said TRSAR Commander Bill Pitterle.

The man was riding ATVs with a friend 12 miles south of Highway 260 when he rolled his quad on a steep hill. The man, who was wearing a helmet, had minor injuries, but his quad was inoperable. His friend’s quad died after the battery went out, so the pair was forced to call for help.

TRSAR rode in on their quads, hauled the pair to the roadway, where a waiting ambulance brought both to the hospital.

Several hours later, TRSAR got a call that a woman was unconscious in the Box Canyon area.

Pitterle said they did not have any other details on the woman, so he grabbed the group’s rope gear and headed out to the canyon.

By the time TRSAR arrived, the Hellsgate Fire Department had hiked down to the woman and rehydrated her.

“She was a bit out of it, probably having a bit too much fun,” Pitterle said.

Firefighters helped the woman climb out of the canyon where she was released.

Supported only by donations and fund-raisers, TRSAR has maintained a trained volunteer group since 1964. The group operates under the jurisdiction of the Gila County Sheriff’s Office.

For more information, to volunteer or to donate, visit


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