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Photos: Wyo. National Guard rescues two from canyon in 24-hour span

Aviators worked with local first responders in two daring rescues inside Box Elder Canyon


Wyoming National Guard/Facebook

By Sofia Saric
Casper Star Tribune

CONVERSE COUNTY, Wyo. — Two people were airlifted from Box Elder Canyon in Converse County inside of 24 hours, the Wyoming National Guard announced Tuesday.

The first, a “harrowing incident” happened when Ray Daugherty and DJ Gonzales “found themselves in a dangerous situation” on Aug. 14, the statement said.

They were ascending the canyon in the evening, the statement said. Daugherty lost his grip and plummeted about 12 feet.

He landed on a rock, the statement said. Daugherty was able to pull himself from a pool of water, but his arm was “severely damaged.”

Gonzales left him there, so he could climb out of the canyon to get help, the statement said.

The Converse County Sheriff’s Office and search and rescue, Glenrock Volunteer Fire Department, Glenrock EMS and the Wyoming Army National Guard were alerted.

Authorities located Daugherty “nearly eight hours after the ordeal began,” the statement said.

His injuries were not life-threatening, but Guard members decided a helicopter lift was needed, the statement said. For safety, the evacuation was postponed until dawn.

As the sun rose, a team of guardsmen airlifted Daugherty to a designated staging area.

He was transferred to a Glenrock ambulance and taken to Banner Wyoming Medical Center in Casper, the statement said.

Daugherty’s elbow was reconstructed during a six-hour surgery.

While a first responder was leaving from Daugherty’s rescue, they found another person in distress, the statement said.

The Wyoming Army National Guard conducted a second expedited airlift of a person from the canyon, “ensuring timely access to medical care at a hospital in Casper,” the statement said.

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