Hunter airlifted after accident |

Hunter airlifted after accident

Search and Rescue conducts 2 operations Wednesday

Melinda Dudley

— An injured hunter was airlifted out of the Beaver Flat Tops late Wednesday night after he was seriously injured when a draft horse stepped on his chest.

The unidentified 50-year-old man from the Castle Rock area was hunting on horseback with his two adults son in a remote area south of Hayden when the accident occurred at about 5:30 p.m., Routt County Search and Rescue member Darrel Levingston said.

“The horse got caught in a fence, got his foot stuck, and in trying to get it out, the horse fell over on top of him,” Levingston said. “Then the horse got up and stepped on him.”

The draft horse stepped on the man at least once, directly on the chest.

“He had multi-system trauma,” Levingston said. “His injuries were pretty severe.”

After Search and Rescue located the man, he was airlifted to Bob Adams Field by a helicopter crew from F.E. Warren Air Force Base in Wyoming.

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The Air Force sent in a night vision-equipped Black Hawk helicopter for the job, after civilian flight crews turned down the rescue because of the remoteness of the Beaver Flat Tops and darkness, Levingston said.

“Because of the nature of his injuries, we were concerned that if we took him out our normal way, in a stokes basket, it could make his injuries worse and cause them to be life-threatening,” Levington said.

The man was airlifted to Steamboat Springs at about 9:30 p.m. He then was transported to Yampa Valley Medical Center by an ambulance crew from Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue.

The Routt County Sheriff’s Office assisted with the search, as did the owners of nearby Beaver Creek Ranch.

“They were a tremendous help – they guided us back and forth, they helped transport gear, they fed us,” Levingston said. “The owners of the ranch were just unbelievable.”

An update on the man’s condition wasn’t available Thursday afternoon because law enforcement personnel with the authority to release the man’s name could not be reached by the Pilot & Today.

Dome Peak hunter located

Search and Rescue also located a 30-year-old Fort Collins man early Wednesday evening who got lost after separating from his hunting party outside Toponas. The unidentified man was about seven hours overdue to meet back up with his hunting party near Dome Peak.

“They had contact with him using walkie-talkies. They just didn’t know where he was,” Levingston said. “He just got disoriented.”

Search and Rescue’s help was requested early Wednesday evening, and a ground crew located the man within about half an hour, Levingston said.

“He was in good health, he had really good gear, he had a big backpack with food, fire-starting and survival gear,” Levingston said. “He could’ve spent a few days in the wilderness pretty comfortably.”

What the man failed to pack, however, is what kept him from being able to reunite with his hunting party on his own, Levingston said.

“He didn’t have a map, compass or a GPS. And it’s probably why he got turned around, walking in the wrong direction,” Levingston said.

Man released after trash truck rollover

The driver of an Aces High trash truck that rolled Wednesday near Steamboat II was listed in good condition Thursday at Yampa Valley Medical Center, hospital spokeswoman Christine McKelvie said.

Charles Pyle, 43, sustained head injuries when the truck crashed off the north side of U.S. 40. The vehicle rolled once and came to a rest on its wheels with the trash container partially on top of the cab and its load spilled on the highway’s shoulder.

Steamboat Springs Fire Rescue crews were unable to extricate Pyle from the mangled truck until the trash container partially was lifted by a tow truck.