Injured Colorado hiker missing for 2 nights rescued after train passenger spots her on riverbank

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A Colorado hiker who broke her leg and spent two nights stranded in the wilderness was rescued last week after a passenger aboard a passing train spotted her lying on a riverbank, officials said.

The hiker, a female in her 20s from New Mexico, had gone on a day hike on the Colorado Trail in the Deer Park area when she left the trail, headed south along the bank of the Animas River, fell and broke her leg, said the Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County, Colorado.

Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge (D&SNG) Superintendent Darren Whitten said the hiker was taking pictures when she fell from a cliff-face, the Durango Herald reported.

The woman, whose identity was not immediately released, spent two nights injured in the wilderness.

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Kylah Breeden crossed the Anima River to reach the injured hiker after a passenger aboard a train spotted the woman along the riverbank.

Kylah Breeden crossed the Anima River to reach the injured hiker after a passenger aboard a train spotted the woman along the riverbank.
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado)

On the second night, she dragged herself to a spot along the Animas riverbank where she could be seen. The following morning, she flagged down the first train of the day headed to Silverton at 11:38 a.m., just south of the Colorado Trail intersection.

Kylah Breeden, her husband Nick, and Delton Henry were members for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad crew that helped the hiker until emergency services arrived.

Kylah Breeden, her husband Nick, and Delton Henry were members for the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad crew that helped the hiker until emergency services arrived.
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado)

Once a train passenger aboard the D&SNG train noticed her calls for help, the passenger alerted a conductor. Train staff immediately responded to the distressed hiker.

Members of the train crew, including Nick Breeden, Kylah Breeden and Delton Henry, crossed the river to reach the injured hiker. Two of the members were La Plata County medics and rendered aid to the hiker until emergency teams arrived.

Kylah Breeden was hailed a hero for her bravery and heroic actions.

Kylah Breeden was hailed a hero for her bravery and heroic actions.
(Office of Emergency Management, San Juan County Colorado)

“Not all hero’s [sic] wear capes but these two are now honorary @silverton_medical_rescue team members,” San Juan County OEM said of Nick and Kylah Breeden. 

The hiker was airlifted to Montrose Hospital. Her current condition was not immediately available.

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San Juan County OEM thanked the railroad for its help in the rescue.

“Another person in a moment of need was successfully brought home due to teamwork and collaboration,” the agency said.

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