Rocky Mountain National Park (CO)
Rescue of Injured Hiker
Richard Mercado, 40, of Huston, Texas, sustained serious head injuries in a fall on Andrews Glacier on Monday, August 2nd. Mercado was reportedly sliding down the glacier on a plastic trash bag when he spun out of control and hit some rocks along the edge of the ice. Park dispatch received a cell phone call reporting the accident. A park entrance station employee happened upon the scene and provided additional information via radio. Rangers began a hasty response up the trail while simultaneously arranging for a rental helicopter from Geo-Seis out of Fort Collins. SAR personnel and equipment were flown to a landing zone near the base of the glacier. They joined the rangers who came up the trail in providing advanced life support. Mercado was flown from the glacier to a hospital by a St. Anthonys Flight for Life helicopter from Denver.
[Submitted by Mark Magnuson, Chief Ranger]