17-year-old taken to Sacred Heart after rock climbing accident - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

17-year-old taken to Sacred Heart after rock climbing accident

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Crews work to save boy that fell 20-30 ft. rock climbing Crews work to save boy that fell 20-30 ft. rock climbing
SPOKANE, Wash. - "We climbed about half way up, and he made one wrong step and he fell," Dakota Donley said describing what happened when his friend fell from a cliff. Donley said he and his friend were climbing up a cliff above Spokane River when his friend fell 20-30 feet, onto the rocks below. "It's scary knowing one wrong step could take your life away from you," Donley said. The boys were not using any kind of ropes or equipment. 

He said his friend, a 17-year-old boy, met on "the streets of downtown Spokane" and that they would sometimes "free solo" rock climb on local cliffs and rocks. Donley said he had climbed this particular cliff near Kendall Yards the day before, but that his friend had never attempted it. He says they were a little more than half way up the 40 foot cliff when his friend lost his footing and fell onto the rocks below. Donley said he climbed down to his friend, then ran for help.

Spokane Fire Department Battalion Chief Mike Thompson said the boy's injuries are "significant," and said the boy was transferred to Sacred Heart Hospital. Donley said his friend was in Sacred Heart's Intensive Care Unit as of 8:30pm Wednesday evening. Thompson said seven men went down the cliff to rescue the boy, and another six medics waited at the top to treat him.


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