Crawling for help

A hunter fractured his leg in the rugged Fossil Creek Wilderness Sunday morning. But the man had to crawl all day before he found help and, even then, a helicopter was needed to lift him out.

The Camp Verde Fire District says the incident occurred about five miles off Arizona 260 in the area above 13-Mile Rock. The injured man reportedly had been crawling, trying to find help for 12 hours before a passerby discovered him, called on a cell phone for help and built a fire. That may have saved his life in the frigid air.

Because of the rough forest road conditions and the remote area, a DPS Ranger helicopter was immediately called in, according to Fire Spokesman Jack Blum, while Fire Rescue crews staged off the highway. Ranger crews still had to climb into the rough terrain to extract the injured man.

Finally, about 10 p.m. he was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center for treatment.

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