Man in critical condition after falling from ladder

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A family project took a horrible turn after a freak accident left a man fighting for his life. Paramedics and family members say Richard Combs suddenly fell several feet off a ladder and hit his head on a cinder block.

The accident happened just after 6:00pm Monday at the man's home on Red River Road in Winchester. He was listed in critical condition at UK Hospital late Monday night.

Paramedics worked to stabilize 50-year-old Richard Combs as they prepared to fly him to UK's trauma center. Emergency workers say he had not regained consciousness since they began working on him at his home where he fell. "It was like slow-motion," Combs' nephew Douglas Stamper said describing the fall, "I was just trying to do anything just to try to catch him, and I couldn't get to him in time."

Stamper was helping his family build a storage building near his uncle's house. They had been working together for several weeks on the family project. Stamper says his uncle is a painter and is used to climbing up and down ladders, but this time something went wrong. "The ladder was falling, and as it was sliding out from underneath him, he fell onto his back onto the ladder, like sideways, and then his head hit that block," Stamper said.

Now as family members wait and hope for the best, their unfinished project is the furthest thing from their minds. "We'll probably just call it off for awhile," Stamper said.

Paramedics estimate Richard Combs fell from as high up as 18 feet before landing on that cinder block. The metal ladder landed on a nearby electrical fence, but family members don't believe Combs was electrocuted when he fell.

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