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Woman recovering after fall on hike in Sabino Canyon

hiker rescue in Sabino Canyon
Posted at 9:41 PM, Apr 12, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-13 01:19:28-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — A 78-year-old, Hilda Dorgan, knows what it's like to have life change in an instant.

"I don't remember anything expect my head hitting the rock," said Dorgan.

Dorgan was hiking with friends on Phoneline Trail in Sabino Canyon when she tripped, fell and fractured her knee.

"I turned around to talk to a friend in the back without stopping," said Dorgan. "When hiking, even if you're looking at the scenery, a plant, or a flower, which we often do, you should stop. That was my mistake that day."

Dorgan was hiking with friends and they called 911. Soon, the Pima County Sheriff's Department and the Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA) arrived to help.

"We are called by the Sheriff's Department when they need help. We prefer that we be called. We love to hike. We typically tell our patients, 'Thanks for inviting us out on a hike,'" said Southern Arizona Rescue Assocation volunteer, John Perchorowicz.

The Southern Arizona Rescue Association helped bring Dorgan down the mountain. They carried her in a large stretcher for several miles.

"Each one of them, from time to time, they'd say their name and ask if I was doing all right. It's amazing. They were wonderful, wonderful," said Dorgan.

SARA responds to an average of two calls per week and sees how easily accidents happen.

"Be prepared. Hike with someone. If you're going to hike alone, make sure you tell somebody where you are going to hike," said Perchorowicz.

It's a rule Dorgan said she plans to follow when she finally gets back on the trails.

"I do love being out in nature. It's my church. I miss it, but I'll be back at it again," said Dorgan.

Visit the Southern Arizona Search and Rescue website to learn more about outdoor and hiking safety.

Megan Meier is a reporter for KGUN 9. Megan graduated from Arizona State Universityʼs Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications in May 2018. While pursuing her degree in broadcast journalism, Megan interned at the City of Phoenix. Share your story ideas and important issues with Megan by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.