A local man hiking in Harrison Hot Springs on Tuesday afternoon fell in the right place, at the right time.
The man was hiking with a friend above the waste water treatment plant, on the trail that leads to Whippoorwill Point. He slipped and fell from the trail, falling about 100 ft down, and landing almost exactly where public crews were busy at work.
Crew workers aren’t always at that site, and the man’s injuries were serious enough that he couldn’t have walked away, said Harrison Fire Chief Don Laboissiere.
“It was definitely a mixture of people being in the right place at the right time,” he said. He said it was one of his volunteer firefighters, Tyler Simmonds, who was one of the public works crew members on site.
“Tyler heard him calling for help,” Laboissiere said. The crew radioed to public works and asked for an ambulance to come immediately. The hiker was transported from the area by ambulance to the Harrison elementary school yard, to a waiting helicopter. He was then transported to hospital.
“He literally did fall right in their work area,” Laboissiere said. Had it been a few hours later, or in a slightly different spot, the story may have had a different ending.
“It was very nice that it all worked out,” he added.
Also by chance, the previous Tuesday night’s practice for the fire hall was training for helicopter landings.
The hiker is now recovering from his injuries at home, a relative called to say Friday. The 22-year-old Rosedale man, who works at Harrison Hot Springs Resort and Spa, suffered a collapsed lung, fractured vertebrae and broken ribs, among other injuries, in the fall.
He and his friend are experienced hikers, and is currently studying to be a chiropractor, she added.