GOLDEN, Colo. – A woman who had a 1,500-pound boulder fall onto her leg while hiking at North Table Mountain Park Wednesday afternoon was extracted and airlifted to an area hospital in critical condition.
The boulder fell onto the 30-year-old woman’s leg sometime around 12:30 p.m. Wednesday in what firefighters called a "freak accident."
Firefighters said both the woman's legs were crushed when the boulder fell on her and that she was pinned for at least an hour.
The woman had been removed from under the boulder and was airlifted in critical condition just after 3 p.m.
Golden Fire said just after 3 p.m. that the woman was unconscious but that "her vitals are fairly good." She is expected to survive.
The patient, being walked out now, is a 30 year old female. She is unconscious but her vitals are fairly good.
— Golden Fire (@GoldenCOFire) April 5, 2017
Multiple agencies worked to help the woman, including Golden Fire and West Metro Fire. They used hydraulic equipment and airbags to remove the boulder.
The main parking lot at North Table Mountain Park and the Perry lot near Golden Cliffs were both closed during the rescue, but have since reopened.
Using a high angle rope system, hiker was carried up the ridge to a waiting Flight for Life helicopter. Great teamwork by several agencies. pic.twitter.com/IrgYGKWsXB
— WestMetroFire (@WestMetroFire) April 5, 2017
The woman was from Europe and was not hiking with a group of eight people from the American Mountaineering Center, as authorities originally said. Golden Fire says the woman was in Colorado for a conference.
Firefighters said off-duty paramedics from Littleton were out for a hike when they saw the woman's friend running for help. The paramedics were on scene quickly and called 911, which firefighters said helped the woman's outcome.
Officials said weather may have played a factor in the boulder falling and hikers should be careful during cycles of freezing and thawing like we've seen in recent days.
After surveying the trail, officials decided not to close the area since there didn't appear to be any immediate safety concerns.