OUTDOORS + RECREATION

Search and rescue crews faced difficult challenges in rescue of injured 16-year-old boy

Jun 17, 2024, 2:00 PM | Updated: 3:02 pm

A brown sign reads "Red Ledges, Day use only, 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Fee required."...

A group of teenagers were climbing up rocks at a hiking spot in Utah County when a large boulder broke loose and struck a 16-year-old boy on Friday, June 14, 2024. (KSL TV)

(KSL TV)

SPANISH FORK, Utah  A group of teenagers were climbing up rocks at a hiking spot in Utah County when a large boulder broke loose and struck a 16-year-old boy on Friday. The boy suffered a broken femur, according to the Utah County Sheriff’s Office.

Sgt. Spencer Cannon, with the UCSO, said the group was climbing rocks in Red Ledges, a popular trail on Diamond Fork when the incident occurred.

It’s unclear what caused the boulder to come free. A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter was called out to hoist the boy out.

Cannon said it’s not uncommon for rescues in Red Ledges, but they don’t see instances often caused by falling debris in that area.

While the boy was located not too far from the entrance of the trail, the rescue posed several challenges for crews.

“The terrain was so steep and (the boy) was in pretty bad shape,” Cannon said. “Any slight movement at all was extremely painful for him.”

Cannon said there were concerns the boulder or other rocks could fall. It was also challenging for the helicopter pilot.

“It creates essentially a temporary windstorm right in the area because of the helicopter,” Cannon said.

Cannon also said over the last week Utah County Search and Rescue crews have been busy.

“It’s been a dozen and a half or so, maybe 18 or 20 calls,” he said.

And while not all of those calls have been serious, Cannon hopes hikers and climbers alike take extra precautions, reminding everyone that search and rescue crews are trained to help.

“They are very good at what they do,” Cannon said.

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

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Search and rescue crews faced difficult challenges in rescue of injured 16-year-old boy