Police identify couple, continue to investigate how pair was seriously injured in fall off Camden Hills cliff

Posted April 08, 2011, at 11:14 a.m.
Last modified April 08, 2011, at 8:30 p.m.
Rescue crews carry down a man from Mt. Megunticook on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Police identified the man as Charles “Reed” Black, 68, of Camden. Earlier in the day, an injured woman, Black's wife, Lisa, 52, made her way down the mountain, which lead law enforcement authorities to search for her husband. Officials have not immediately disclosed if a crime occurred.
Rescue crews carry down a man from Mt. Megunticook on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Police identified the man as Charles “Reed” Black, 68, of Camden. Earlier in the day, an injured woman, Black's wife, Lisa, 52, made her way down the mountain, which lead law enforcement authorities to search for her husband. Officials have not immediately disclosed if a crime occurred.
Eric Zelz
A couple takes in the view from the ocean lookout ledges on 1375-foot Mount Megunticook at Camden Hills State Park in Camden in October 2009. Rescue crews carry down a man from Mt. Megunticook on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Police identified the man as Charles “Reed” Black, 68, of Camden. Earlier in the day, an injured woman, Black's wife, Lisa, 52, made her way down the mountain, which lead law enforcement authorities to search for her husband. Officials have not immediately disclosed if a crime occurred.
AP file photo by Robert F. Bukaty
A couple takes in the view from the ocean lookout ledges on 1375-foot Mount Megunticook at Camden Hills State Park in Camden in October 2009. Rescue crews carry down a man from Mt. Megunticook on Thursday, April 7, 2011. Police identified the man as Charles “Reed” Black, 68, of Camden. Earlier in the day, an injured woman, Black's wife, Lisa, 52, made her way down the mountain, which lead law enforcement authorities to search for her husband. Officials have not immediately disclosed if a crime occurred.

CAMDEN, Maine — The two people who were seriously injured Thursday afternoon on Mount Megunticook are husband and wife Charles “Reed” Black, 68, and Lisa Black, 52, both of Camden, police said Friday.

Both sustained head injuries when they fell off an 800-foot cliff on the backside of the mountain, according to Stephen McCausland, spokesman for the Maine Department of Public Safety.

“We’re trying to determine the circumstances of how they both were injured,” McCausland said Friday morning. The head injuries, however, have made it difficult for investigators to complete their interviews.

“We need to sit down and interview her again. At this point we will monitor his condition and interview him when it’s appropriate. There is a lot of work to do on this, and I don’t expect any [more updates] today,” McCausland said.

He said the couple was transported to Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor, but the hospital could not confirm the Blacks were there or what their conditions were as of Friday morning.

A passing motorist called police around 3 p.m. Thursday after being flagged down by Lisa Black, who stumbled off the mountain and onto Route 52 near the Lincolnville-Camden line. She told police her husband was still on the mountain and a 3½-hour search ensued.

“Two search parties were formed to locate [Charles Black]. Wardens Michelle Merrifield, Dave Simmons, and Merrifield’s K-9 Duchess located the male subject who was severely injured at around 5:30 pm.,” according to a press release from Camden Police Chief Randy Gagne.

Rescuers found Charles Black several hundred feet down Maiden Cliff, which police describe as, “An 800-foot sheer drop off that has a large cross erected at the top and is a popular hiking destination. The cross was erected in memory of a young girl who fell to her death in the 1800s.”

Rescue crews strapped Charles Black to a stretcher and carried him down a steep, rocky section of Mount Megunticook to reach Route 52 at about 6:30 p.m. Thursday.

“Both of the injured parties were transported by LifeFlight to Eastern Maine Medical in Bangor,” Gagne wrote.

The Blacks are retired school teachers from Missouri who moved to Camden in the past year, McCausland indicated.

Among the agencies involved Thursday afternoon were Maine State Police, Camden Police and Fire Departments, Lincolnville Police and Fire Departments, Maine Warden Service and Knox County Sheriff’s Office.

The incident is under investigation by the Camden Police Department and Maine State Police, according to Gagne.

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