Man injured seriously by fall

April 26, 1981
Massacre Canyon

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By Kevin Walker

At approximately 2:00 p.m. while doing my monthly servicing of the No. 1 van, my dad, Walt Walker, told me to close the van back up because we had a rescue mission in Massacre Canyon. I quickly buttoned things back up, and then went back to my home for gear and then returned to Walt's house to pick him up.

At the Massacre Canyon bridge we met members from the Hemet team already at the scene. They told of how a man in his twenties had fallen above the first falls in a side chute. He had severely injured himself. We were also told that Hemet Valley Ambulance paramedics were already with the man giving him medical aid. There was plenty of personnel up at the first falls to lend a hand in the evacuation. We quickly gathered the necessary technical equipment to perform a lower down the falls, and then hiked in to the base of the falls. The first falls are approximately 30 feet high and quite easy to climb up, but being near vertical it requires technical gear to evacuate someone.

The patient was already in a litter, so while Bob Elliot (HSAR) and Walt prepared the anchors for a lower, I tied the man in with one inch webbing. Next Walt came over to the litter and hand tied a horizontal rigging to the litter, and I put my sit harness on as I would be the attendant. Once everything was completed and checked, the litter was carried to the edge, and with the assistance of other people the litter and I were eased over the side. With all of the falls' outcroppings of rocks and small ledges it made the lower fairly difficult as I had to be careful not to bang the litter against the wall because the patient had possible neck injuries. Soon though my feet touched down, and RMRU member Hal Fulkman and another HSAR member to the litter, while I unclipped. Then it was a careful 15 minute carry out back to the road and the waiting ambulance.