La Grande man falls 150 feet off cliff; Life flighted to trauma center

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Union County Search and Rescue

UNION CO., Ore. — Union County Search and Rescue (SAR) responded to a distress call after a La Grande man fell around 150 feet off a cliff.

According to SAR, the man was climbing a rock outcropping Merry-Go-Round Road on Saturday, May 14th. Union County 9-1-1 received a report of an individual who slipped and fell around 150 feet around 4:41 p.m.

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Several agencies immediately responded, including eight personnel from SAR, four deputies from Union County Sheriff’s Office along with Sherriff Bowen, medical personnel from the City of La Grande, along with Union Fire Department, the United States Forest Services Law Enforcement, and the Life Flight Network.

According to SAR, responders found a 41-year-old man with serious injuries at the bottom of a nearly vertical cliff. Medics began treating the patient while the SAR team began working on a way to transport the man out of the area.

Officials say the SAR team rigged a “500-foot rope low-angle system for emergent extraction” and then began coordinating with other agencies to get the man onto the Life flight helicopter.

Multiple agencies then worked together to operate the rope system transport the patient up the steep hill to the ambulance at the top.

The man was then transported by ambulance to an awaiting Life flight helicopter, then flown to a trauma center in Boise, Idaho.

The man’s condition is currently unknown.