VANDERGRIFT, Pa. - A 62-year-old Vandergrift man’s shouts for help led to his rescue from the bottom of an estimated 100-foot ravine Monday morning.
William Hobaugh was conscious and alert when he was pulled from the wooded ravine near Labelle Vue Road in Allegheny Township.
Hobaugh was taken to Allegheny General Hospital by ambulance for treatment, said Pete Frejkowski, chief of Lower Kiski Emergency Services.
He suffered a probable leg injury, and there were worries of back and head injuries, Frejkowski said. Hobaugh was being given fluids intravenously.
No information on his condition was available from the hospital.
Hobaugh’s wife, Aileen Hobaugh, said her husband had left their Beech Street home in Vandergrift to take their dog, Starr, for a walk. How he got to the bottom of the ravine about a mile from his home was a mystery.
“He was going to take a walk with the dog over by the ball park. How he got here, I have no idea,” Aileen Hobaugh said as crews worked to retrieve her husband.
Aileen Hobaugh said her husband has multiple health issues and hadn’t walked the dog for a while but was feeling good Monday morning.
Catherine Gallo lives across Labelle Vue Road from the ravine. She said she heard a man hollering and at first thought he was just shouting for his dog.
“He said, ‘Please help me.’ He’s not calling the dog, he’s calling for help,” she said. “We made him keep hollering so we could find him.”
They called 911 at 9:22 a.m., according to county dispatch.
After he had been gone for about an hour, Aileen Hobaugh said she became concerned about her husband and began driving around looking for him. She found out where he was when she called 911 at 9:35 a.m.
It took crews nearly an hour to get William Hobaugh up from the bottom of the ravine, where he had been under a log, Frejkowski said. Rescuers had to rappel to reach him.
“You can’t traverse that hillside,” Frejkowski said, praising crews for their teamwork. Not long after William Hobaugh was rescued, Starr also was found safe but thirsty.
Billie Prorok has lived near the ravine for 25 years. She said this is the first time she can recall anyone needing rescued from it.
“I just thank God they found him. They did a good job,” she said.
This article was written by Channel 11’s news exchange partners at TribLIVE.
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