California, El Capitan Peak. On December 2, David Gunn (19) and a group of twelve other teenage hikers embarked on an ascent of El Capitan Peak, a prominent landmark near Lakeside. During the ascent of a brushy scree slope one member of the party dislodged a large rock which traveled some 50 ft. and struck Gunn in the right leg. Gunn was severely cut by the rock and lost considerable blood before any rescue could be effected.
Immediately after the accident some members of the party went back down the mountain to the nearest telephone and called the local authorities, while the remainder stayed with Gunn and administered first aid. The County Sheriff summoned a helicopter from a nearby Coast Guard base and a doctor was flown to the scene of the accident. After he had seen to Gunn’s condition the victim was flown to a hospital for treatment. He will recover completely.
Source: Robert Gardner, Altadena Mountain Rescue Squad.
Analysis: The accident could have been prevented by better party management and by the usual signal “rock” being given as soon as the boulder was dislodged.