YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A dramatic rescue unfolded late Thursday night at Mill Creek Park.
A man who fell more than 30 feet down a steep embankment had to be saved from the cold waters of Mill Creek.
The victim was walking along a trail with two friends shortly after 11 p.m. when he slipped and fell into the creek.
The victim’s friends told WKBN reporter Nathan Lehota they tried to rescue him. After the friends realized they couldn’t save him, they made contact to an officer who was in the area. Mill Creek officials originally thought that one of them called 911 but later realized that was not the case.
When Mill Creek police first arrived, they couldn’t safely get to the victim and called the Youngstown Fire Department to help pull him out.
Rescuers used ropes and harnesses to safely and quickly get him out of the water.
Youngstown Fire Battalion Chief Ron Russo said the victim could have died if his crew hadn’t got there so quickly.
“He was in the water, which leads to the falls and pulls into shadows, so it was an important factor we got him out right away,” Russo said.
Crews say he was in the water for about 30 minutes and started going into shock when they pulled him out.
“If he’d have passed out he would have floated down over the falls,” said Russo. “Then it becomes a rescue and it goes to pulling out a body.”
The man was taken to Saint Elizabeth Health Center. His condition has not been released.
Mill Creek Park officers told WKBN that walking in the park after dark is not only unsafe, but it can also get you a ticket.
Mill Creek MetroParks Police issued a statement Friday saying that the park is closed from dark, or one half-hour after sunset, until 5 a.m.
Park officials said the park is closed after sunset for a reason.
“There are no lights throughout the park, so is is a hazard for people and it is not safe. Safety is our number one priority, so that is why we have that rule and that is why we enforce it,” Samantha Villela of Mill Creek MetroParks said.