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Man stuck in tree in the Red River Gorge

By: Tamara Evans Email
By: Tamara Evans Email

A hiking trip in the Red River Gorge turns into a rescue operation after a man gets stuck in a tree for eight hours.

It was meant to be a weekend full of hiking adventures for several friends from Ohio.

"Just camping out and hanging out and Dan was supposed to meet with us last night", says Mike Bruner.

However, Mike Bruner says his cousin, Daniel Naegele never made it to their campsite last night in the Red River Gorge.

"He told us he would be there at eleven, so we expected him and he never showed up", says Bruner.

That's because on the way there, while hiking in the dark, rescue crews say Naegele fell at the top of a cliff and onto a sloping log.

"He slid down and was able to stop himself, but was hung up about 30 feet in the tree, and it was dark, so he couldn't see how far down it was", says Rick Weber, the Team Leader for the rescue mission.

For hours they say Naegele tried to reach authorities before finally being able to get through. They found him and were able to get him down by using a harness. After eight hours of being in the tree, he made it safely back to ground.

All the while his cousin says he never knew where he was. He even spoke with him while he was in the tree.

"I finally got ahold of him this morning and asked what was going on and he said he got sidetracked and he'd be there soon, and I said 'are you here', and he said 'I'm close", says Mike Bruner.

A close call and new adventure for the young man.

"You don't see that everyday. Usually they hit the ground. He hit the tree, which probably saved his life", says John May, with Wolfe County Search & Rescue.

As for the hiker, he didn't suffer any major injuries. He did have some scratches. They say he's very lucky he didn't fall from the tree.

Rescue crews from Wolfe County and Lee County responded to this incident. They say nobody was injured during the rescue mission.


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