GRAFTON TOWNSHIP – A man sightseeing at Screw Auger Falls on Bear River late Friday afternoon suffered serious injuries after falling 30 feet off a cliff into the lower gorge pool, according to rescuers on scene in Grafton Notch State Park.

The man, who is in his late 40s to early 50s, was carried on a rescue stretcher across the river and up a steep bank through woods to the highway, where he was placed in a Bethel Rescue ambulance, Newry firefighter Alan Fleet said.

Bethel Rescue took the man to a nearby field in Newry, where he was placed aboard a waiting LifeFlight helicopter at about 6:35 p.m., and flown to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

Bethel Rescue crewmen said that due to patient confidentiality laws, they couldn’t identify the man or his injuries. But, day hiker Dave Rogers of Mexico, who helped with the rescue and carryout, said the man’s first name was Randy.

“By the look of him, his left knee and right shoulder were messed up, but he said what was hurting him the most was his ribs,” Rogers said. “The guy was begging for painkillers.”

The accident happened at about 5 p.m. in an area where there is no cell phone coverage for miles.

Fleet said the injured man, who had a dog on a leash, had walked out onto the cliff at the end of the railing to get a better view of the falls when the accident happened.

“The railings are nice, but nobody stays behind it,” Fleet said.

Rogers said he and his wife and their children hiked to the summit of nearby Table Rock and back earlier Friday, and then went to Screw Auger Falls.

“I was coming here to show it to the kids and a guy ran out and said he was looking for sweatshirts and blankets to keep the guy in the water warm until rescue arrived,” Rogers said.

He gave what he had and stayed to help.

Fleet said someone drove to a house in Newry where a local emergency medical technician lives and called 911 there. The responder then went up to help.

Newry firefighters and Andover Fire Department’s Ropes Rescue Team also responded, but ropes were not needed to get the injured man from the bottom of the gorge.

Sgt. Rick Mills and Josh Smith of the Maine Warden Service also responded, along with Mahoosuc Mountain Rescue.

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A LifeFlight helicopter headed for a Lewiston hospital lifts off from a field in Newry early Friday evening, carrying a man who fell 30 feet into the lower gorge pool at Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park on Route 26. Bethel Rescue, Newry and Andover firefighters and bystanders helped carry the man, who suffered shoulder and leg injuries and possible broken ribs, according to day hiker Dave Rogers of Mexico, who helped with the rescue.

A man in his late 40s to early 50s suffered serious injuries after he slipped off the cliff at top center to the right of the railing late Friday afternoon and fell 30 feet into the lower gorge pool of Bear River just down from Screw Auger Falls in Grafton Notch State Park.


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