More Information on Teenage Trail Runner Rescue

CHATTANOOGA (WDEF) – “It’s kind of like a bowl of spaghetti. It just keeps going. It gets tangled up. It’s really easy to get turned around.”
That’s how local experienced trail runner Garrison Wheeler describes the miles of trails, with cliffs and waterfalls, that two Chattanooga teenagers got lost on Wednesday night after separating from another group of runners. “The last time they were seen was about 4:30 p.m. So they called Walden’s Ridge emergency services so additional resources were called as well to help search for these two teenage runners that were running on Falling Water Trail,” says Amy Maxwell with the Hamilton County Emergency Management Agency.
Temperatures went from the 50’s to almost freezing with heavy rain Wednesday night. Chattanooga is surrounded by beautiful terrain and known for its hiking trails. But experience and daylight, “Notice we got a bunch of signs here but not a single map,” is vital for this trail.
“You don’t want to be caught out here not able to see. That’s super dangerous and just a recipe for disaster,” says Wheeler. Maxwell says over 25 first responders and rescue experts arrived to help from agencies around the region. She says there was also an outpouring of community members wanting to volunteer to find the kids but they had to be turned away. “These people that are going into the woods, they’re trained, they’re certified for these rescues so we really appreciate your support but we really want to keep this to the professionals that do this on a daily basis,” Maxwell says.
The 16 and 17-year-old runners were found on Sawyer Road around 11:20 p.m. Officials say they were wet and cold but happy to be reunited with their families.
They were looked over by EMS for injuries or hypothermia and sent home.

Categories: Chattanooga, Featured, Hamilton County, Local News

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