Park County Search and Rescue had another busy weekend.
A New York teen was airlifted from the Sunlight area on Saturday after falling from a horse. And a Connecticut teen camping in the Beartooth Mountains was found safe Sunday following a forced overnight stay alone in the wilderness.
Sophia DiMatha, 17, of New York City was on a back-country day trip with a group from Elk Creek Ranch when the accident occurred about three miles south of Dead Indian Campground.
DiMatha had fallen and sustained possible back and pelvic injuries in an area near Dead Indian Campground. Search and Rescue (SAR) responded after the 1:35 p.m. call to the area of Dead Indian Campground to the reported location of the victim. SAR reached her at 4 p.m.
Members of West Park Hospital’s Wilderness Medical Team stabilized the teen and summoned a helicopter from EagleMed Medical Transport from Cody airlift the victim.
At 5:50 p.m. EagleMed transported DiMatha to St. Vincent’s Hospital in Billings; she was treated and released.
On Saturday, Tyler Eichmann, 14, was camping with his mother, Wendy Pillsbury, 43, when the two became separated. The pair was camping southwest of Becker Lake, about 3.5 miles north of the Beartooth Campground off US 212.
Search and Rescue received a call at 7:50 p.m. Saturday that Pillsbury had emerged from the wilderness at the Beartooth Campground, apparently suffering from hypothermia.
Pillsbury said her son was still at their camp but could not give an exact location. She thought it to be near Wall Lake, due east of Becker Lake.
SAR responded immediately to the Island Lake Campground to speak to Pillsbury before beginning a search for Eichmann.
Pillsbury told SAR members she and her son had set out from the Island Lake Campground on Saturday morning along a backcountry trail intending to stay a few nights in the wilderness.
Once they reached a campsite near a lake and set up their small tent, she decided to take a short hike at 2:30 p.m. She became disoriented and lost during the hike and wandered for more than four hours before emerging at the Beartooth Campground. At one point she traversed a large swampy area where she was forced to hike through near waist-deep water, causing her to become hypothermic.
A SAR ground team entered the wilderness to begin their search shortly before 11 p.m. Saturday. They made their way toward the reported location of the camp at Wall Lake.
At 1:45 a.m. Sunday morning, the team reached Wall Lake but found no sign of Eichmann or the family’s camp. The team then decided to spend the rest of the night at Wall Lake and begin their search again at first light.
At 6:30 a.m. Sunday morning, the SAR team met up with Eichmann on the trail from Wall Lake to Becker Lake. He was concerned for his mother, who had not returned from her hike, so Eichmann was hiking out to report her missing.
The family was reunited at the Island Lake Campground. Neither Eichmann nor his mother was injured.
“Once again, members of the Park County Search and Rescue came through,” Sheriff Scott Steward said. “Disregarding their own safety, they set out into the wilderness in the middle of the night to find this boy. When they could not locate him, they hunkered down in their sleeping bags so that they could continue in the morning. They always put their own safety second to the well-being of others.”