Man saved after ordeal on hill

August 19, 1994|By Peter Hermann | Peter Hermann,Sun Staff Writer

A partially disabled man tumbled 50 feet down a steep embankment last night near Chinquapin Run Park in northeast Baltimore and remained stuck on the wet hillside for nearly 12 hours before firefighters pulled him to safety today.

George Buchanan, 66, who lives in Northwood, had been walking his pit bull, Andy, about 8 o'clock last night when the accident occurred in the 1500 block of Hartsdale Road, near Northwood Elementary School, fire officials said.

Apparently, he lay there the entire night, said Battalion Chief Hector L. Torres, a Fire Department spokesman. The dog stayed with him.

Chief Torres said the victim suffered a cut on his left arm and received back injuries. He also had numerous bruises over his body and was possibly dehydrated.

He was taken by ambulance to Good Samaritan Hospital, where he was being evaluated in the emergency room this morning. Chief Torres said Mr. Buchanan has braces on both legs and walks with a cane.

"He was hollering and screaming," said Anne Strickland Thomas, a nurse at Mercy Medical Center who saw the rescue on her way home from work this morning.

Chief Torres said a man walking his dog along Hartsdale Road heard the man call for help and notified the police and fire departments.

Firefighters arrived a few minutes later and found Mr. Buchanan conscious, but unable to move. His pit bull was nearby, but had wrapped himself around a tree with a leash.

"The dog was growling at the paramedics," said Lt. Antonio R. Thomas, of Truck Company 29. "As we tried to get closer to the victim, the dog snapped. It was interesting."

Chief Torres said firefighters had to tie ropes to trees at the bottom of the ditch, which leads to Herring Run, and pull the man to safety in a basket. Several firefighters fell down the embankment themselves during the 30-minute rescue.

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