Good Samaritan helps rescue fallen teenager at Natural Bridge

POWELL COUNTY, Ky. (WTVQ) – A family from Harrodsburg had quite the scare Sunday when their 15-year-old daughter slipped off a cliff on Hood’s Branch Trail at Natural Bridge State Resort Park and slid down a steep embankment.

Powell County Search and Rescue says it received a call around 5 P.M. on Sunday about the young girl’s fall. Additional teams from Wolfe County Search and Rescue Team, Powell County Emergency Medical Services, Red STAR Wilderness EMS, Natural Bridge State Resort Park rangers, Estill County Rescue Squad, and Lee County Search and Rescue were called to the scene to assist. 

“Right away, our team went there, our chief was there to look and evaluate the situation,” says Lisa Johnson, Powell County Search and Rescue Public Information Officer.We had to call more teams out because she was in a bad area where a lot of growth with plants and when you think of a slope you just think down, well it’s not because not only does it go down, it goes out. So she was 60 feet out.”

When 15-year-old Millie fell, another family was hiking the same area of the trail. David Peck heard Millie’s father calling for help and went to see what he could do. Peck had trained as an EMT and taken a wilderness first response course around 11 years ago.

“If I was in her parents shoes, I’d want to know is someone there, is my daughter OK?” says Peck. “And so I think that was definitely an important aspect.”

Not only did the terrain offer challenges, Powell County Search and Rescue says Millie is autistic and non-verbal.

“The child has some special needs, as a lot of children do, so they explained to her avidly what they were going to do with her, show her so she wasn’t frightened because falling is a frightening situation anyway,” says Johnson.

“It’s just a matter of building trust and one of the paramedics did an awesome job of really being able to communicate with her and allow her the time to respond well and do what she was comfortable with doing,” says Peck.

Powell County Search and Rescue says it took five hours and a team of nearly 40 people, but Millie was returned to her family with seemingly no injuries.

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