April 22, 2018
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Hiker hurt in Acadia National Park

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK, Maine — A woman from New York state had to be carried out of the park Sunday evening after falling and hurting her back while hiking, according to a park ranger.

Ranger Richard Rechholtz said Tuesday that Jennifer Litka, 38, was hiking on the Gorham Mountain summit trail with another person when they wandered slightly off the trail. Conditions were icy, he said, and while the pair was still within sight of the trail, Litka slipped and fell about five feet, landing on a rock.

“She hurt her lower back and was in a lot of pain and couldn’t move,” Rechholtz said.

Litka is from New York state, the ranger said, but he is not sure from what town.

Rangers got a call around 2:30 p.m. that Litka was hurt and went to help her by carrying her to an ambulance, he said.

They strapped her into a litter and then 11 rangers and three trained members of Mount Desert Island Search & Rescue worked together to carry her down past the bottom of the Beehive Trail to the Park Loop Road near Sand Beach.

Rechholtz said the hiking conditions were tricky and proved challenging to members of the rescue team, some of whom also slipped and fell. All members of the team were wearing helmets during the carry-out, he said, so none of them was hurt.

“It was a tough rescue,” he said.

He said it was 6 p.m. by the time rangers and members of Mount Desert Island Search & Rescue got Litka safely back to the road. She was taken by ambulance to MDI Hospital in Bar Harbor, and she was treated and released that same evening, he said.

Rechholtz said hiking conditions have been good in Acadia because of the lack of snow this winter and there were many people out hiking on Sunday, including on Gorham Mountain, when the sun was shining and temperatures were relatively mild. He said Litka’s fall was just an accident and not the result of any improper safety precaution.

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