Recovering at a Fresno hospital, Gregg Hein, 33, said Wednesday that he was a couple days into a solo hike high in the Sequoia and Kings Canyon national parks northeast of Fresno when a large rock crushed his right leg above the ankle.
After letting out a yelp, the Clovis man said his first thought was treating his dangling leg and protruding bone to boost his chances of making it out alive. He briefly considered applying a tourniquet to stop the bleeding, a move that he knew would end with an amputation.
Rather, Hein said he used hiking gear to wrap and secure his leg, and then he scooted to a flat clearing with a good vantage point to wait for rescuers. He had left his heavy pack behind, and the few insects he could scour at arm's reach hardly filled him up. He blew a whistle, hoping its echoes would catch somebody's attention.
Back home, Doug Hein reported his son missing two days after he didn't return home as planned. Rescuers searched on foot and from the air. A helicopter crew eventually spotted the hiker July 10 and lifted him to safety.
- The Associated Press
First published July 16 2014, 4:16 PM