At least 10 emergency agencies, working in concert, successfully freed a trapped female hiker who was pinned under a 1,500 pound boulder.A woman hiking North Table Mountain on Wednesday, April 5 found herself struck by and pinned underneath a massive 1,500 pound boulder. Emergency personnel from surrounding cities responded to the scene at 12:30 p.m. and got to work trying to free the trapped hiker. The remoteness of the scene made the rescue particularly difficult, with responders having to haul equipment in by foot and ATV before they could attempt the rescue. The most important gear was a hydraulic spreader and special airbags, both required to gently and safely lift the 1,500 pound boulder. Once the gear reached the scene, rescuers got to work freeing the pinned hiker. https://twitter.com/WestMetroFire/status/849725501178617856 At around 2:30 p.m., the woman was freed. Unconscious and suffering from significant fractures, first responders then had to figure out how to transport her across the rough terrain to a waiting medevac helicopter. "A medical helicopter is on standby at the top of North Table Mountain, but still a 45 minute hike away so they're working on alternative ideas," the Golden Fire Department announced on Twitter.
The woman, who has not been named, was transported by air to a nearby hospital. Though unconscious and in critical condition, first responders said that her vitals looked "fairly good."
During the spring thaw, it is common for melting ice to dislodge rocks and boulders. Large temperature swings are usually necessary to dislodge larger boulders. A man who was hiking with the victim told responders that they heard a loud "crack" before the boulder came crashing down.
While the investigation into how she became pinned is just beginning, there is no disagreement over why she survived the accident. Two paramedics happened to be on the trail at the time of the incident and were able to almost immediately begin administering aid to the trapped woman.