Colorado Hiker Flags Down Passing Trains While Stranded for Two Days After Breaking Leg

by Sean Griffin
(Photo by: Visions of America/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A hiker near Silverton, Colorado broke her leg and was forced to spend two nights alone in the wilderness, according to local reports.

The woman, in her 20s and from New Mexico, went off-trail during a day hike. She injured her leg near the Animas River, according to the Office of Emergency Management in San Juan County.

After being stranded in the woods for two nights, she managed to reach a visible spot on the riverbank. She realized she could flag down passing trains, rescuers said.

Around 11:38 a.m. on Monday morning, October 10th, a train passenger spotted the woman. Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad officials immediately called authorities.

Then, two train employees who were luckily also trained medics crossed the river to meet the woman. They stayed with her until the Silverton Medical Rescue team arrived at the scene.

A helicopter then brought in rescuers. The rescuers set up a rope system to carry the woman across the river. She was then airlifted to a hospital. A train took the rescuers back out.

“Another person in a moment of need was successfully brought home due to teamwork and collaboration,” the release said.

Silverton is a small historic mining community of about 620 people more, over 300 miles southwest of Denver.

Hiker Rescued From New Hampshire Trail With Severe Leg Injury

Around 8:15 am on Wednesday, October 5, the New Hampshire Fish and Game Department received a call about an injured hiker at the Greenleaf Hut on Mt. Lafayette.

Zhaojing Zhong, aged 59 and from Bronx, New York, was identified as the injured hiker. Zhong, her husband and two friends were ascending the popular Franconia Ridge Trail loop on October 4.

Reportedly, the group completed hiking to the summit of Mt. Lafayette. However, during their descent to the Greenleaf Hut, Zhong fell on slippery terrain. She injured her lower leg in the slip and couldn’t walk any further. Zhong’s husband carried her down the remaining section until reaching the hut. The crew allowed the party to spend the night at the hut because Zhong was unable to walk. They called for assistance the next morning.

The NH Army National Guard was called to see if they could assist in the rescue efforts. The Guard was able to send a flight crew to Greenleaf Hut. It arrived there at about 10:15 a.m. on October 5.

Zhong and her husband were assisted by the flight crew into the helicopter. Then, Zhong arrived at Littleton Regional Healthcare around 10:50 a.m. to be treated.

New Hampshire Fish and Game reminds hikers to be properly prepared before venturing out into the wilderness, especially with the harsh weather changes around this time. The department released their “ten essential items” to remember while packing: a map, a compass, warm clothing, extra food and water, a headlamp, a fire starter, a first aid kit, a whistle, rain/wind jackets and pants, and a knife.