UK student still recovering after fall while hiking

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GARRARD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - A UK student continues to recover after falling from a cliff during a weekend hiking trip.

22-year-old John Davis lost his footing and tumbled more than 60 feet at the Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve in Garrard County.

Hiking with a friend turned into climbing, but 22-year-old John Davis and his friend Garrett Booth didn't have harnesses or helmets that Sunday afternoon.

"They deemed it safe for them but obviously, probably not so," said Taylor Foster, Davis' friend.

Taylor Foster says he was supposed to be on that hiking trip.

"I was unfortunately busy that day, but it was wild. I actually got the call myself at 3:30 Monday morning and just immediately lost it," said Foster.

It was a terrible accident. Davis had lost his footing.

Davis was in the Tom Dorman State Nature Preserve when tumbled over a rock face and fell several feet onto the rocks below. He then rolled another 60 feet toward the Kentucky River.

It came as a surprise to many that this had happened to Davis with him being a forestry major at UK.

"He's a very experienced climber and hiker as well. I've been out with him many times," said Foster. "But it can happen to anyone."

Going from critical to now serious condition after breaking his skull in six places, Davis is improving.

"He was much more himself today and even just having that small 30 to 40 minute conversation brought tears to my eyes," said Foster. "It was an amazing thing to see glimpses of my best friend coming back."

Foster says Davis even told him and his family that he can't wait to go hiking again. But doctors say he'll be at the hospital for at least another week and then rehab and physical therapy will follow.

There is a charity fund set up at any Fifth-Third Bank location. The family wants that money to go to the volunteer rescue teams that saved John Davis.

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