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4-year-old takes plunge off 70-foot cliff as parents watch. Rescuers arrive and find “miracle”
The family was hiking on a beautiful day when their hike took a turn for the worse.
Colby Maxwell
11.08.21

Getting into the great outdoors is a great way to relax, decompress, and renew that appreciation for nature! All it takes is a bit of time outside to remember how unforgiving and beautiful nature can be, all at the same time. For one family, that lesson was almost paid for with a life.

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A family recently went on a hiking trip together at the Princess Arch Trail in Pine Ridge, Kentucky when things went horribly wrong.

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The trail, located in the Red River Gorge, was a tough trail that showed some incredibly beautiful bits of landscape. Like many trails are, it was strewn with rocks and had some sharp ledges that require a quick mind and sure feet.

On October 15th, a couple set out with their son in tow, hoping to enjoy the cooling weather.

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Everything was fine until something unexpected happened – the 4-year-old boy, their son who was hiking with them, stepped on the wrong rock. In an instant, he slipped and fell away towards his parents and towards the dropoff off to the side.

His parents watched as he plummeted 70 feet down the cliff with nothing they could do to help.

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Although it wasn’t a straight 70 feet down, it accumulated through multiple drops and sheer ledges of up to 30 feet in height.

During the fall, the boy struck multiple ledges and encountered sheer drops of ~30 feet, falling ~70 feet in total. – Wolfe County Search and Rescue

Once he fell, his parents realized it was do or die to get him help if he was hurt.

The dad lept to action and scrambled down the side of the cliff to get to his son as soon as possible.

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Like a superhero, he picked his son up and carried him downhill, across the Red River, and to the nearby Sheltowee Trace Suspension bridge. Since they were already on a bridge, medical personnel was able to meet that significantly faster than if he had tried to climb back up or stay put at the bottom of the cliff.

When the medical team arrived, they were shocked.

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The boy wasn’t just going to live, he was nearly unhurt! Of course, he had some scratches and bruises, but he didn’t have a single broken bone in his body after falling down MULTIPLE 30-foot drops and rolling. He was so ok, in fact, that he just wanted to tell the medical team about his favorite superheroes!

Team members rendezvoused with the father and son as he reached highway 715. Incredibly, while the child was certainly scraped up and bruised, he appeared to be otherwise okay. He was very talkative, and very interested in super heroes. The only super hero present was him. After examination by Breathitt-Wolfe EMS INC., the boy was released to the care of his very relieved parents. – Wolfe County S&R

Many of the rescuers are calling the event a miracle.

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Regardless of HOW it happened, the dad is surely thankful that his son was ok after the slip. Going out into the wild can be scary sometimes and stories like this are always a healthy reminder to stay safe!

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By Colby Maxwell
hi@sbly.com
Colby Maxwell is a contributor at SBLY Media.
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