Massachusetts Hiker Rescued Via Helicopter After Injuries Left Him Unable to Walk

by Lauren Boisvert

A hiker from Massachusetts had to be airlifted out of the New Hampshire mountains on Monday. A fall left him severely injured and unable to walk. 34-year-old Matthew Lawrence was hiking in the Franconia Ridge of the White Mountains, about a half mile from the Mount Lafayette summit, when he fell. Luckily, he wasn’t alone.

Lawrence’s fellow hikers headed back to the Greenleaf Hut and got help from the Appalachian Mountain Club. The New Hampshire Fish and Game Department made a statement after Lawrence was retrieved. “Due to the nature of the injury and location of approximately 4.5 miles from the nearest trailhead, a call was made to the New Hampshire Army National Guard in Concord,” said the department. According to, the Appalachian Mountain Club received a call about an injured hiker around 3:40 pm on Monday.

They continued, “The Army National Guard deployed a helicopter and crew and responded to the Franconia Ridge location. […] At approximately 6:15 p.m., the helicopter was able to hoist Lawrence and one hiking companion off the ridge and flew them to Littleton Regional Hospital for medical treatment.”

What helped Lawrence immensely though was being in a larger hiking group. One person was able to stay with him while the others went for help. While hiking alone, though, experts recommend a personal locator beacon or a satellite communication device for times like these.

Hiker Forced to Leave His Injured Wife in Grizzly Country to Get Help

Unfortunately, not everyone thinks ahead like that. A husband and wife were hiking in the Bob Marshall Wilderness Complex in Montana when the wife broke her ankle. The trailhead was 7 miles away and, as they found out later, bears liked to hang out in that area.

The husband had to hike out those 7 miles to get help, with no choice but to leave his wife alone in bear country. Two Bear Air rescuers responded to the call from Glacier Park International Airport. Pilot Rob Cherot left the airport around 7:00 pm and didn’t touchdown until 8:24 pm. Due to high winds, Cherot had to land a mile and a half away from the woman’s location and have rescuers hike in.

“When deep in the backcountry, bring a satellite communication device to save valuable time and enable the group to stay together,” said Two Bear Air rescuers in a statement on Facebook. Luckily, no one encountered any bears while the rescue was taking place, but it could have been a close call. Night had fallen when the rescuers finally got the woman back to the helicopter. A bear could have easily surprised them. All in all, what matters is that both rescues, this one and the one in New Hampshire, were successful.