SALT LAKE CITY — Rescue crews pulled a 39-year-old man from rugged terrain in southern Utah a day after he fell several feet, cracking his pelvis and puncturing a lung, among other injuries.
Jared Crane was searching for shed antlers near Montezuma Canyon, southeast of Monticello, on Thursday, the San Juan County Sheriff's Office said. Family members reported him missing and search crews began looking later that day, according to a prepared statement Monday from the sheriff's office.
After falling, "He wasn't sure if he was going to live. He got really short of breath but he was conscious throughout the whole thing," his brother Samuel Crane said.
Deputies found Jared Crane's car parked on the side of County Road 146 and traced his tracks to the foot of jagged terrain on Friday, with helicopters aiding in the search, according to the sheriff's office. Searchers found him about 6 p.m. the following day at the foot of a ledge.
A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter hoisted Crane and flew him to an ambulance waiting nearby. He was first taken to San Juan Hospital in Monticello and later transported to St. Mary's Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Crane had texted his parents to tell them where he was going and wound up wandering farther than he thought. He took a different route back down the canyon wall and was navigating a steep area about 7:30 p.m. Thursday when his binoculars got caught in a bush and knocked him off course, causing him to fall, said Samuel Crane.
Jared Crane broke his ribs, dislocated his left shoulder, punctured his left lung, and cracked his pelvis and three vertebrae in his back, his brother said.Comment on this story
After he fell, Jared Crane tried to pull himself along but only made it about seven yards. At one point, he saw buzzards circling. He managed to reach his water and snacks with his one good arm before he ran out of water about noon Friday.
Jared Crane heard the helicopters fly over him and tried using a candy wrapper trying to catch the light to signal them. He finally got enough strength up to throw up a water bottle and believes the pilot may have seen it, his brother said.
He has moved from an intensive care unit in the hospital to another area, where he's undergoing physical therapy. He is expected to head home in about a week.