Imagine taking a train ride somewhere, and you chose the wrong book to read. For lack of having anything better to do, you sit and take in the scenery that whirls past you as you zoom through the wilderness. All of a sudden, you see someone waving frantically. Your heart sinks, you know what you saw. Someone needs saving! This is pretty much a scene that actually happened for a passenger on a train recently. They saw a hiker waving to the train passing by from across the river. It turned out she had been missing for two days.
Daydreaming passenger saves lost hiker
The last thing anyone expects to see when they are on a train is someone trying to flag the train down. You might see it in a dramatic scene of a movie. But, generally a train ride is quite peaceful. One passenger happened to be staring out the window when they spotted a woman. She was waving frantically at the train, as if they needed help. Trusting their gut, the passenger told the conductor, Kylah Breeden, who told the engineer, Nick Breeden, who happened to be her husband.
Read: Hiker Lost For 24 Hours Ignored Rescuers’ Calls Because Number Was Unrecognized
The Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado posted about the incident on the Facebook page. The post read: “A Durango Silverton Narrow Gauge Train passenger spotted an injured and missing hiker on the riverbank of the Animas River south of the Colorado Trail intersection and alerted the train conductor.”
Allegedly, the hiker is in her 20s and she had fallen down a cliff face of 90ft in an attempt to get some pictures. The post read: “She had left the trail and headed south along the Animas riverbank and fell, broke her leg, and was forced to spend two nights in the wilderness injured.“
Having only intended to do a day hike, she had no provisions for the cold nights, nor any additional food or water. The hiker said she must have lost consciousness after the fall, but she was not sure for how long. When she came to, her leg was broken. No matter how painful, she manage to draw towards the bank of the river where the train was visible. There she spent two days trying to flag down the trains that passed.
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Not only was Kyla the conductor of the train, but she was also the fireman and a trained paramedic. She waded across the heavily flowing river towards the unnamed hiker. “Her leg was clearly injured and she was really cold. We gave her some blankets and some water,” said Kyla in an interview. Nick ended up leaving with the train, but Kyla remained with the woman in need.
Aside from the passenger who spotted the hiker, heroes included Nick and Kyla Breeden, and the 911 response that came to her aid. They realized a helicopter was needed to airlift her to safety. Although, it would never be able to reach her in the narrow part of the cliffs. So, the rescuers devised a plan to get her across the river.
They created a rope system that would carry her across the river. Then, the helicopter took her to hospital. “A helicopter then landed in Deer Park and flew the injured patient north to Montrose Hospital,” read the post. “The DSNGRR transported our SAR Team out in the small diesel train.“
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- “Hiker who survived stranded in the wilderness for two nights in freezing temperatures after breaking her leg is finally rescued when a train passenger spots her lying on a riverbank.” Daily Mail. Eleanor Dye. October 17, 2022.
- “A train passenger saw a woman waving for help. It was a hiker who’d been missing.” RVs. Halissia Hubbard. October 23, 2022.