Thanks to the fine work of the Tennessee Highway Patrol aviation unit and the Great Smoky Mountain National Park's search and rescue team, Vetice Bates, 68, was taken to an area hospital after being injured on the Snake Den Ridge Trail on Saturday evening, October 25, 2014.
Mr. Bates is a volunteer Trail Blazer in the Great Smoky Mountain National Park. At the time of his injury, he was working with others to pack-out equipment used by the Rocky Top Appalachian Trail Crew by horseback.
Mr. Bates reportedly fell from his horse around 8 PM. A nighttime rescue was deemed inadvisable, so other members of his team set up a temporary shelter nearby until rescuers arrived.
The Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation and Special Operations Unit originally planned an airlift for a 7:30 AM Sunday morning, but that was delayed by heavy fog in the region.
When the fog cleared, Mr. Bates was located, air-hoisted into a helicopter and airlifted to the airport in Sevierville. He was subsequently taken by ambulance to the University of Tennessee Medical Center around 1:30 p.m.
We are thankful to all who helped Vetice Bates and carried him to safety. We wish him a quick and complete recovery.
Tags: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, News, Accidents, and Safety
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