By Dillon Thomas
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The body of a paraglider who died soon after rescuers arrived at the location where he crashed was recovered on Green Mountain on Saturday.
West Metro Fire said emergency dispatchers received a 911 call from the victim just after 8:30 p.m. Friday after he crashed at William Frederick Hayden Park.
“He told our dispatchers he had crashed,” said Ronda Scholting, spokesperson for West Metro Fire.
Scholting could not elaborate on what lead up to the crash.
Audio from dispatch suggested the caller was disoriented and possibly suffering from a back injury.
Police used their emergency lights and asked the victim via cellphone if he could see them. By doing so, they hoped to locate him.
Dispatch ultimately used the victim’s cellphone to locate him on the mountain, which is located east of Interstate 70.
Due to the unstable terrain, an emergency helicopter was unable to land. But they used the light on the helicopter to illuminate the hillside as rescue teams arrived at the victim’s location.
“It was difficult to get to him,” Scholting said.
West Metro said the man was stuck in a steep area, with loose rock.
“[Rescue teams] had to set up a pretty complicated rope system. Using trees, and boulders, as anchors,” Scholting said.
Those who frequent the area were shocked to hear the news.
“We almost never see a paraglider in this area,” said Kent Thiry, a mountain biker.
As the coroner descended the mountain with the victim’s body, those nearby understood why crews had such a hard time finding the victim.
“If you were trying to go straight up, or down, a hill. Or, [if you] were trying to recover a body, that would be some serious work. It is awfully steep for that,” Thiry said.
The victim’s vehicle was towed away from the scene as his body was recovered on Saturday morning.
West Metro Fire Rescue said they would identify the victim when next of kin was notified.
Dillon Thomas is a reporter at CBS4 and a Colorado native. He believes everyone has a story, and would love to share yours! You can find more of his stories by following him on Twitter, @DillonMThomas.