Burnet County man rescued after falling 75 feet from cliff

A man in Burnet County is lucky to be alive after falling 75 feet off a cliff on County Road 328.

The man was stuck in the Cow Creek bed for more than fourteen hours before he was discovered.
He broke his leg in the fall and was severely dehydrated by the time a rescue crew was able to contact him. The Burnet County Sheriff's Office said if it wasn't for the actions of one of their deputies he probably wouldn't have survived.

"He would've never made it out on his own," said Patrol Captain Ricky Bindseil with the Burnet County Sheriff's Office.

Luckily, a call reporting potential illegal dumping came into the Burnet County Sheriff's Office around noon Thursday.

"Once the officer arrived on scene he noticed there was a white Ford pickup and the hood was up," Bindseil said.

The officer did a quick scan of the area, but saw no one nearby. His instincts told him to keep searching.

"So he crossed over the fence. Once he was on the other side of the fence there was about probably a six foot area before it dropped off and at that point he just hollered. He said, 'Is anybody down here?' And the guy yelled back and said, 'Help,'" said Bindseil.

Deputy Derrick Klotz immediately called for help. The Bertram Fire Department, Marble Falls Volunteer Fire Department, Marble Falls EMS, the Burnet County Constable, Precinct 4, and Travis County Starflight all answered the call.

"It was approximately 75 feet is where he fell straight down to a solid rock bottom," Bindseil said.  

The man in his thirties told deputies he was on his way home from work when his truck started overheating and he was forced to pull off the road.

"It was dark. He could hear the trickle of water running and so he was thinking, 'I'm going to go find some water to put in my truck since its overheated.' At that point is when he slipped and fell off the bluff," Bindseil said.

The man had a broken leg and was in too much pain to make it out on his own. A heavy coat and a makeshift fire helped him make it through the cold night, but attempts to crawl to the creek to get water were unsuccessful.

"There is vehicle traffic that goes up and down the road, but the particular location he was at, if it wouldn't have been for the deputy then nobody would have ever heard him hollering for help or found him or anything," said Bindseil.

Starflight was able to use a basket to lift the man safely out of the creek bed. He was transported to UMC Brackenridge for treatment.

Burnet County authorities said if it wasn't for Deputy Klotz the outcome would have been very different.

"Obviously he went above and beyond. There's some times that we all get so involved in trying to answer every call for service that we can that we don't take that extra step. In this instance, this deputy did take that extra step and it was a lifesaving step that he took," said Bindseil.

The area where the victim was located is very remote and there is no cell phone service.

Deputies said the man did not break any laws before falling from the cliff.



I got to participate today in the rescue of a severely injured man that had fallen off of a cliff and spent the night...

Posted by Chris Jett on Thursday, January 7, 2016


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