Bechman Payson Roundup
A 14-year-old was badly injured this weekend when she
slipped and fell while hiking below Tonto Natural Bridge
State Park north of Payson.
#The girl’s father told rescuers they were walking
across the slick rocks under the bridge when the girl fell
forward and hit her head.
She was knocked unconscious, but had come around by the time
rescuers arrived from Pine-Strawberry Fire and Tonto Rim
Search and Rescue, said Bill Pitterle, TRSAR’s commander.
While the girl could initially answer questions, her
condition deteriorated rapidly.
TRSAR volunteers knew they had to carry the girl out quickly
because head injuries can result in life-threatening brain
“We did everything we could to get her out quickly,” he
said. “She was pretty out of it.”
A dozen volunteers took turns carrying the litter out, some
wearing harnesses to pull.
A helicopter was waiting above at the observation area and
flew her to a Valley hospital.
Once there, doctors discovered her injuries were severe.
“This was a tough rescue for us,” Pitterle said. “It became
apparent it was urgent and we really pushed it getting her
Pitterle and a dozen TRSAR volunteers were rope training in
Strawberry at the time of the call, which made for a speedy
Photos By Morris Brown
Click for larger pictures