EMERGENCY ON THE CLIFF<<- This is probably that last thing two riders saw before the landed halfway down the cliff behind the house
The picture on the right is what the cliff looks like from down below ->> |
The situation was thus:
From the state police witness statement: I was inside my house on my computer. The next thing I remember is hearing a loud crack out to the rear of the house. I then heard a male voice yelling for help. I didn't think anything of it at first because the neighbors' kids often play in the area.
I then hear another loud crack, [like a loud dry crash] and the male again yelling for help and a doctor. When I came to the rear of the house I looked up toward Porges Road Cliff. I observed an ATV upside down and leaning against a tree. I could see human legs coming from underneath the ATV. I began to make my way toward the ATV. As I was going up the hill I heard the male telling a female to "hang in there" He then pushed the AVT off of her and it rolled down 20 or so feet. The male was attempting to move the female but he was having trouble moving himself.
The female never spoke and her injuries showed a large hole in her head and the rest of her body was distorted and was curved around a tree.
With the help of a neighbor [he actually arrived a few seconds before I did] we tried to keep the man calm until help arrived.
While waiting we learned that the man's name is Fern; the woman Marybeth | He was in shock and in panic | Robert [my neighbor] took the man's cellphone [he had trouble using it] and called their family | Once the EMTs arrived, I stepped back mostly helping tie ropes and get emergency equipment up on the hill |
This is a bad time of year to maneuver up the hill; the ground is wet and it makes for very unstable walking on the lower half | Besides, the slope is steep, maybe 40 or 50 degrees up [or down] from the cliff's edge | I remained on post until both had been lowered down to the road on litters and taken away by ambulance to Lifestar and then to Hartford's trauma unit |
I didn't have my camera with me when I started up the hill | Odd, because I'm always carrying it in my pocket | While on the hill, there were a couple of moments that would have made some very dramatic shots | But I'm glad I didn't have it with me | The woman was in critical condition | She may very well die from the injuries sustained in the crash | Even if she didn't, when I first saw here I know her spirit [soul] was watching all of this as some dispassionate aside | Call me superstitious but I really believed that it would not have been right to capture the moment in digital medium |
Somehere, fairly quickly, the sharks arrived | Channel 3
and Channel 30
news trucks and camera crew were on site while rescue workers were trying to get the couple down off the hill | Initially I avoided them | I really didn't
want to be interviewed on camera; not at that moment at any rate | Avoiding them was easy enough to do | The police want to see how they'd gotten to the cliff and where they caromed off from, so I went to two officers and showed them the back path to the cliff | After that it was back to checking out the activity around
the base of the cliff |
Incidentally, although I knew that dirt bikes and quad
ATVs hade been up on the cliff before, I can't recall anything like this ever happening | And, no, I didn't see any helmets on the ground though after first falling 62 feet, hitting a tree, then another 43 feet and landing against a second tree, that issue may be moot |
Later on, after the victims had been taken away, and the wrecked ATV was towed off, one of the officers took my witness statement | He commented about the media lurking in the background | They certainly were | A gaggle of them standing in front of the steps to our house | Waiting outside for some sound bite | So, eventually, they got it | A few more seconds off my 15 minutes of fame
| Then again, my satisfaction was that I got the first parts of this page up and online before they went on the air | I also shot the sharks at work, see their photos on the lower right of this item |
My hopes and prayers that all turns out well for this couple |