Crews rescue 18-year-old hiker who fell off mountain in North Carolina

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Monday, October 17, 2022
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An 18-year-old hiker from the Durham area fell 40 feet off Hawksbill Mountain in Burke County.

MARION, N.C. (WTVD) -- An 18-year-old hiker from the Durham area fell 40 feet off Hawksbill Mountain in Burke County.

It happened Sunday evening around 7. First responders said the woman was not rock climbing, but instead, she got too close to the edge and fell off the side of the mountain.

Emergency workers who found the hiker determined her injuries were too severe for her to be moved safely. She needed a blood transfusion on the spot.

That's when nurses hiked fresh blood into the woods.

"In that area, the mountain is rugged," Captain Burke Browning with Burke Emergency Services said to ABC affiliate WSOC.. "The place she fell in was quite rugged so they did have to do quite a bit of work to get her out."

Around 1 a.m., the hiker and all emergency responders made it out of the woods safely. Crews then rushed the hiker to the nearest trauma center; her condition has not since been released.

Burke County Search and Rescue said it believed this was the first whole blood transfusion to happen in the Linville Gorge, which is the third largest wilderness area in North Carolina.