P/cloudy
58°
P/cloudy
Hi 64° | Lo 40°

Man in Green River freed from rock trap

  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped near the Meridian Street bridge in the Green River on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped near the Meridian Street bridge in the Green River on Monday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Rescue personnel assess the situation of a man trapped by a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield early in the rescue process on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    Rescue personnel assess the situation of a man trapped by a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield early in the rescue process on Monday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • A man fishes in the Green River as a team of rescue personnel work to free a man trapped under a rock near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

    A man fishes in the Green River as a team of rescue personnel work to free a man trapped under a rock near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.
    Recorder/Micky Bedell Purchase photo reprints »

  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped near the Meridian Street bridge in the Green River on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Emergency personnel work to free a man trapped under a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • Rescue personnel assess the situation of a man trapped by a large rock in the Green River near Meridian Street in Greenfield early in the rescue process on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell
  • A man fishes in the Green River as a team of rescue personnel work to free a man trapped under a rock near Meridian Street in Greenfield on Monday.<br/>Recorder/Micky Bedell

GREENFIELD — Rescuers worked for over an hour Monday afternoon to free a man pinned by a boulder in the Green River.

The man’s head was above water and he appeared to be conscious throughout the ordeal as police and firefighters worked to free the man, visibly caught beneath a large rock, in thigh-deep water at the base of the waterfall formed by the Wiley & Russell Dam, the first dam above the Meridian Street bridge.

Greenfield Fire Chief Robert Strahan said the man was transported to a hospital trauma center with unknown injuries. Strahan said rescuers used a variety of pneumatic and other tools to free the man from what was estimated to be a 450-pound or heavier rock.

Fire Capt. Kyle Phelps said the man’s hips up to his ribs were pinned under the rock.

“He took about a 10-foot fall while fishing, and then some loose rock down at the base of the footing caused a 400-pound rock to come on top of him,” Phelps said.

Phelps estimated the water temperature to be in the mid-60s, which he said is within the range for a risk of hypothermia. Phelps said the man wasn’t bearing the full weight of the rock but definitely injured his arm and possibly his hips.

A number of neighbors and passersby drawn by the flood of emergency vehicles and scanner reports, which initially said a child was in the river, watched from the banks and the Deerfield Street sidewalk.

Deerfield Street resident Sharmon Power said the spot is popular for recreation.

“My husband fishes here all the time. People bring their kids here to swim,” Power said.

That the spot is popular with fishermen was demonstrated by a man who continued to fish, with some success, yards downstream as rescuers forced 4x4 boards and wedges between rocks and used a chain saw to cut a path down the embankment.

Rescuers freed the man at 5:30 p.m., a little over an hour after the first report at 4:32 p.m., and carried him up the embankment on a backboard.

Firefighters called a LifeFlight helicopter ambulance for the man.

Strahan said the extrication was lengthy and difficult.

“This was a very challenging rescue. The on-duty group did a remarkable job,” Strahan said.

The Greenfield police and firefighters first on the scene were joined by Turners Falls, South Deerfield and Northfield firefighters, as well as the Northfield Dive Rescue team, while Bernardston and Shelburne firefighters covered the Greenfield station.

You can reach Chris Curtis at: ccurtis@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 257

There are no comments yet. Be the first!
Post a Comment

You must be registered to comment on stories. Click here to register.