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Hiker rescued from 80-foot fall caused by loose rock

Posted: Tuesday, May 02, 2000

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- A woman was seriously injured after falling about 100 feet while hiking on Rainbow Peak south of here and landing on a ledge, where she was rescued by an Alaska Air National Guard helicopter crew.

Kathy Zukor, a 28-year-old Air Force captain, and Samuel Griffiths, 39, were climbing at about 3,000 feet Monday when a rock came loose from above, bounced off Zukor's arm and hit her in the face, Alaska State Troopers Sgt. Lee Oly said.

Zukor fell about 30 feet and cartwheeled another 70 feet, Alaska State Trooper spokesman Greg Wilkinson said.

Troopers, the Alaska Air National Guard and the Alaska Mountain Rescue Group worked to retrieve the woman from the ledge where she fell about 4:30 p.m. The trail head is at Mile 108 of the Seward Highway.

Griffith reported Zukor was talking when he placed a coat over her and ran down to the highway and called for help, authorities said.

An Air National Guard Pavehawk helicopter from Kulis Air Base dropped two pararescuemen at the scene, but high winds prevented a landing.

The rescue crewmen found Zukor conscious and prepared her to be hoisted into the chopper, hovering at about 40 feet, Air Guard spokeswoman Kerry Martineau said.

The helicopter took her to Providence Alaska Medical Center.

Wilkinson said hospital officials described her condition as serious but not life-threatening.

Zukor has a broken neck but can move her extremities, he said.



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