Helicopter lifts paragliding crash victim from mountain

Emergency crews today performed a dramatic rescue of a man whose paraglider crashed on Red Mountain in Glenwood Springs this morning.

John Goss, who is well-known in Glenwood Springs as managing director and cast member with the Glenwood Vaudeville Revue, suffered non-life-threatening injuries but had been stuck on a steep section of the mountain.

He was plucked mid-afternoon from the spot by a Colorado Army National Guard helicopter out of Gypsum after Glenwood Springs fire crews rappelled to his location to prepare him for the airlift. Garfield County Search and Rescue members also were part of the ground response.

Fire chief Gary Tillotson said he spoke to Goss by cell phone while Goss was awaiting rescue and Goss was “conscious and alert, maybe some injuries but no serious trauma.”

He said Goss may have suffered a back injury.

Tillotson said the accident happened shortly before 11 a.m. Goss landed about three-quarters up the mountain in an exposed area with little vegetation. Tillotson said it was so steep that every time Goss tried to move before rescuers arrived, he slipped.

When the helicopter first hovered above him, giant clouds of dust swirled around Goss and ground crews at the scene. But the pilot held the craft seemingly motionless as rescuers prepared Goss to be lifted.

“I think that guy is doing an awesome job holding that helicopter in that position that long,” Tillotson said.

Red Mountain is a popular paragliding launch spot. Fellow paragliders watching the rescue said Goss has some 130 previous flights.


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