Crews spent all day Thursday looking for 20-year-old Ben Simonson of Winchester. The man went hiking in the Gorge, in Wolfe County, Wednesday night. He called his mother around 4pm to tell her he was lost.
Rescue crews looked for Simonson Wednesday night into Thursday morning. They eventually found him last night after he lit a fire. A rescue helicopter saw the flames on the top of the ledge but crews couldn't get to him in the dark.
Searchers were finally able to get to Simonson around 2:30pm Thursday afternoon. They followed his trail until they found the man and then walked him down off the cliff. Simonson reunited with his parents, who had been at the Gorge all night searching for him, and then went home hungry and exhausted.
Crews say the fact that Simonson stayed where he was and did not wander the woods was a large factor in finding him safely.
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