Ice buries man near scenic falls |

Ice buries man near scenic falls

Special from the Glenwood Independent

An Avon man suffered possible head injuries and a broken leg yesterday afternoon when when he was hit by and partially buried under large chunks of ice that broke free from Spouting Rock above Hanging Lake in Glenwood Canyon.

James Brian Ferguson, 24, was reportedly standing under the scenic water fall on a rock while a friend snapped his picture. Without warning, the ice that had built up around the lip of the falls broke free and slammed into Ferguson.

Eyewitnesses reported the man was knocked into the water and trapped beneath a 15-foot-high mountain of ice for some 20 to 30 minutes.

Ferguson’s friend worked to free him from the ice. A number of other people at the popular attraction, located just off I-70 in Glenwood Canyon, also helped with the initial rescue effort. A doctor and a nurse were at the scene and were able to come to Ferguson’s aid after he was freed from the ice and water.

The Garfield County Search and Rescue team responded to Hanging Lake after being notified of the accident at about 2 p.m.

Although Hanging Lake is just three miles off the Interstate, the rescuers had to essentially perform a backcountry evacuation of the injured man.

A quick trip up the extremely steep and narrow trail takes 45 minutes, but the rescue party had to bring a wide array of rescue gear to the lake.

After arriving at the scene of the mishap, the rescue team placed Ferguson in a stretcher and, using ropes and at least six people, maneuvered the stretcher down the narrow rock steps that lead to Hanging Lake. Spouting Rock is a waterfall located a short hike above Hanging Lake.

Once they got the man off that steep section of the trail, they were able to place him in a wheeled cart and carefully haul the man down the rest of the trail. It took more than four hours to get the injured man to the trailhead.

Ferguson was taken from the trailhead at the Hanging Lake Rest Stop on I-70 to Valley View Hospital in Glenwood. Details of Ferguson’s condition were not available at press time yesterday.

The Garfield County Sheriff’s Department, Garfield County Search and Rescue, Glenwood Emergency Services and a number of volunteers were involved in the rescue effort.

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