PHOENIX - Onlookers watched in horror Wednesday afternoon as an 18-year-old hiker nearly fell to her death off of Camelback Mountain.
“We saw someone climbing on the side of the mountain,” said Bob Webster, who was also hiking.
But moments later the hiker suddenly stopped.
“I saw a girl just stuck there on the side of the mountain. She was very high -- maybe 200 feet,” Webster said. “She was frozen in place for like 10 minutes and just couldn't move and then all of a sudden she fell.”
According to Phoenix fire the teen fell 60 to 100 feet and landed in the Western Head climbing area.
“Initially our thought was that it was not a survivable fall,” said another hiker who witnessed what happened. “We just couldn't imagine that she was going to make it.”
Witnesses said the teen’s companion immediately began a frantic race to get down to her.
“At the end he jumped about 40 feet himself to get to her,” Webster said.
Firefighters arrived within minutes but weren’t able to fly the teen out because of how badly she was injured.
“She's got many obvious broken bones, she was unconscious but she was breathing on her own,” said Capt. Reda Bigler from the Phoenix Fire Department.
Crews then had to physically carry the teen down the mountain where she was rushed away to the hospital.
Several witnesses thanked firefighters for arriving so quickly and rescuing her.
“They got right it there, packaged her up and brought her back,” Webster said. “I'm hoping and praying she's going to be okay.”
At last check, firefighters say the teen is on extremely critical condition at Scottsdale Osborn Medical Center.
The only information firefighters released about the teen was that she was 18 years old and a student at Grand Canyon University.
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