Man rescued after falling 20 feet hiking in Conway woods

Staff Writer
Published: 9/15/2019 11:39:07 AM

CONWAY — Rough terrain and inclement weather meant it took about 20 rescuers several hours to extract a man who had fallen in the Conway woods and transport him to the hospital on Saturday.

According to Conway Fire Chief Robert Baker, crews responded around 10:42 a.m. to a forested area off of Pine Hill Road, where a 55-year-old hiker had fallen.

Baker said the hiker’s partner called 9-1-1 after the man fell about 20 feet from a ledged area “face first.” The man possibly broke his ankles and sustained injuries to his head, and was taken by ambulance to Baystate Medical Center in Springfield.

According to Baker, members of the Conway, Ashfield, Amherst, Turners Falls and Shelburne Falls fire departments assisted with the rescue, as well as the Western Massachusetts Regional Technical Rescue Team.

“It took 20 rescuers in the woods just to get him out and down over the ledges,” he said. “We had to rope him down.”

Baker explained that crews constructed a system of ropes down the ledged area where the man had fallen, and rescuers worked carefully in the rain and mud to lower the man down using the rope system to a level area where he could be carried out of the woods.

The strong response was necessary due to the terrain and weather, Baker said, and the rescue took until around 2 p.m. He described the conditions as “extremely” challenging for the rescue crews.

Reach David McLellan at dmclellan@recorder.com or 413-772-0261, ext. 268.




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