Man trapped in University Heights canyon airlifted to safety after fall

Injured man may have spent days without water

SAN DIEGO - Crews with the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department airlifted a man from a canyon in University Heights late Friday afternoon.

The man, who is about 30 years old, was lucky. A neighbor above the canyon rim heard him moaning from his backyard.

Kip Davis told 10News, "I hollered to him. He hollered back that he'd been there two or three days. He was asking for water… complaining of broken bones. He said he'd fallen."

Another neighbor called 911 while Davis grabbed his trusty machete and started down the slope, hacking away.

Davis said, "So we just bush-whacked to get down to him, took your machete… I've hiked around the area a few times, so I kind of knew where he was. It was a no-brainer that I went down with him."

The undergrowth is so thick it is almost like a jungle. A helicopter rescue was easily the method of choice. The injured man had been trapped in the brush.    

Acting Sgt. Sai Sharrieff climbed down to the man as well. 

"He was in such a situation that he couldn't move, so we had to stabilize and airlift him out of there," he said.

A mountain bike discovered nearby may belong to the injured man, who was believed to be homeless.   

He is being treated at Scripps Mercy Hospital for cuts and bruises, possible broken bones and dehydration.

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