Crews Find Missing Hiker

By: Dave Spencer Email
By: Dave Spencer Email

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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Comments are posted from viewers like you and do not always reflect the views of this station.
  • by Anonymous Location: Estill County on May 15, 2007 at 10:35 PM
    Im glad that we were able to find Ben and return him to his family.
  • by beth Location: martinsville ohio on May 15, 2007 at 02:06 PM
    I am Ben's cousin and I just wanted to thank the rescue crews that found him. What a great ending. Like my uncle said, those situations don't always end so fortunately. Ben didn't panic and end up further in the woods and the rescue crews did an incredible job. Thanks
  • by Susan Location: New Vienna, OH on May 14, 2007 at 05:55 PM
    I am a family member of Ben's and we are all very Greatful to everyone who helped to rescue him. Cell phones can be a pain for some people, but in this case it saved a life. What might have happened years ago, before we had cell phones? Thanks again to everyone who assisted.
  • by Ruth Location: Morehead, KY on May 11, 2007 at 11:16 AM
    I'm glad Ben had his "charged" cell phone with him. He helped save his own life. Who knows when he would have been saved if he had not called his mother.
  • by resident Location: lee co ky on May 11, 2007 at 10:55 AM
    The true story is ruscue teams from Lee Co,Menifee Co,and Estill Co, Kendal (retired) from the forest service, and a medical helicopter with night vision, and two rescue members from Wolfe Co guide service, were able to work together with each other to rescue Ben. Wolfe Co rescue just Coordinated. Wolfe Co did not find Ben it was the services that I mentioned above these are the team,s that need to be thanked for there services.
  • by Resident Location: Wolfe Co. on May 11, 2007 at 07:48 AM
    People do not realize how dangerous the gorge can be. Thankfully, we do have great people in the area who care and work hard to rescue those who get hurt or lost.
  • by Shanna Location: Long on May 10, 2007 at 06:16 PM
    I am so thankful that we have search and rescue teams that stay out and work until they get the job done. I am thankful for my brother and father that stayed out there until the boy was found. My brother is the Emergency Management here in Campton and without him and the search crew would the boy be found.
  • by Brandon Location: lexington on May 10, 2007 at 08:02 AM
    They a nite vision helicopter to find him at nite or look aroundthe creeks b/c i would go to water foreal if i wa lost and walk that all the way.

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