A passenger on board Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad engine No. 461 became what many might call a hero after spotting a distressed woman waving for help along the bank of the Animas River just around 5 miles south of Silverton on Monday, October 10th, according to the Durango Herald. The train crew was alerted to the sighting and informed Delton Henry, who was following behind the train on the inspection motor car.
Henry stopped to investigate, discovering that the woman had suffered a broken leg and was unable to move. After Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad (D&SNG) Superintendent Darren Whitten contacted the authorities on the matter, it became fairly clear that the woman had gone missing Sunday after going on a day hike on the Colorado Trail.
“It’s an amazing feat that she survived (a night) in the cold snap we are having. Our team thought that was pretty miraculous. And that she was aware the train was still running, and managed with a broken leg to crawl to the bank of the river to try and signal them.” – DeAnne Gallegos, emergency management spokeswoman, according to the Durango Herald
Fireman and trained paramedic Kylah Breeden was able to arrive in around 45 minutes after the call for help, following behind Delton Henry on engine no. 480 with her husband and engineer Nick Breeden. The injured woman told Kylah that she had fallen an estimated 30-meters off a cliff-face, gotten a concussion, and lost consciousness. With no emergency gear and clothing not designed to spend a night in the cold wilderness, it became pretty clear that the woman was in pretty rough shape.
Search and Rescue called for a CareFlight helicopter and the woman was taken to Montrose Hospital. The passenger who spotted the injured woman was given due credit and she, as well as her husband, were comped for their trip.
Image Credit: Silverton & Durango Narrow Gauge Railroad via Facebook