Man tumbles 40 feet from Bells Canyon waterfall

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SANDY -- Rescue crews worked for more than five hours to get a South Jordan to safety after he fell nearly 40 feet from a Bells Canyon waterfall Sunday.

Police say 58-year-old Masour Ariazand was trying to jump from a ledge around 11:45 a.m., lost his balance and slipped on a rock.

He was flown to Intermountain Medical Center in critical condition. Though his condition improved somewhat, he was still considered critical Sunday night. Doctors do believe Ariazand will survive.

He was blue, shaking and he'd been out there for a good half hour right in the bottom of the waterfall.

–Tyler Gressman

After the fall, several members of Ariazand's group pulled him from the icy water and managed to hoist him onto a boulder. A family member called for help.

Crews from the Sandy Fire Department and Unified Police Department's search and rescue team had to hike for nearly two hours to reach Ariazand because the medical helicopter couldn't get low enough to hoist him.

Strong winds complicated the situation even further.

"It's hot today. My crews are asking for a lot of water, so we're having to shuttle water back and forth," said Sandy Deputy Fire Chief Bruce Cline. "There are a lot of people up there, being a weekend, Father's Day. They're having to deal with the people on the trail."

Some of those hikers actually assisted in bringing help to the victim. Tyler Gressman and Kelley Smith got to the falls a few minutes after Ariazand fell.

"It was a pretty scary situation," Smith said. "I mean when we first got up there, it wasn't even clear there was an emergency."

But they quickly realized something was wrong. Two people were holding the victim, trying to keep him conscious.

"He was blue, shaking and he'd been out there for a good half hour right in the bottom of the waterfall," said Gressman.

Once crews were able to reach Ariazand, they had to carry him on a board and hike him down the canyon.

Without gear, it can take an hour and a half to get from the falls to the reservoir. With gear, it takes much longer.

The medical helicopter didn't lift off until close to 5 p.m.

"This is the second one in Sandy that I know of so far this year," Cline said.

Fire officials say as it warms up, there will surely be many more. The Bells Canyon trail at 10245 S. Wasatch Blvd. was closed to hikers for part of the day.




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