Rescued Hiker Makes Complaint Against Flight For Life
DENVER (CBS4) – A Denver woman is in a hospital after her rescue from a 13,000-foot peak. It’s a rescue she says was delayed 14 hours because of Flight For Life.
Alyson Kruetzer has had surgery to repair her broken leg. It snapped when she slipped while climbing Mount Rosalie over the weekend. Flight For Life was originally called in, but Kruetzer says when the chopper landed the crew told her they had 3 minutes to load her because bad weather was rolling in.
“They saw that I couldn’t get up and they left, and I was really sad because they didn’t give me a sleeping bag or anything,” Kreutzer said.
Flight For Life director Kathleen Mayer says the decision to turn back came down to two things — timing and safety.
“We were not able to deliver the care that this patient insisted on before she would allow us to move her onto the helicopter and still get out safely,” Mayer said.
Rescue crews hiked through white out conditions after dark to reach her.
“It was the worst pain ever,” Kreutzer said. “By that point I just wanted to die.”
Mayer said Flight For Life learned some very painful lessons in 1994 when one of their helicopters crashed on Mount Huron and both crew members died.
“We will not put our crew at risk attempting something a ground crew can do,” Mayer said.
Her climbing partner shed most of his winter clothing and insisted Kruetzer wear it to keep from freezing.