MASON COUNTY, Mich. — An officer with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources rescued a 75-year-old Hudsonville man that had sustained injuries after a fall in Mason County on Tuesday, according to the DNR.
We’re told the man tried to call for help but was unable to maintain cell service due to poor reception.
Officer Josiah Killingbeck learned the caller's identity after communicating with other officers, the DNR tells us, who say the man’s son informed police that his dad had visited an area southeast of Ludington.
The DNR says Killingbeck located the man’s tire tracks and followed them until he found the man’s GMC pickup in a remote location where GPS offered no road information.
The officer was able to locate the elderly man after following foot prints on a bike trail, according to the DNR. They say he was found at the base of an oak tree 11 hours after he had fallen.
The man reportedly told Officer Killingbeck that he tried to remove a tree stand that was positioned 30 feet above the ground when he grabbed hold of a dead branch and plummeted to the ground.
The Hudsonville man was airlifted to a trauma center after complaining of major pains in his lower-back area, shoulder, leg and knee, the DNR explains.
“Whether you are hunting, hiking or trail riding, you should always share your plans with a family member or friend,” says Lt. Joe Molnar with the DNR. “In the plan, you should list where you are going to be and when you expect to return. You should also include any alternate locations you may be at, in case weather or other conditions change your plans.”
Lieutenant Molnar adds, “Sharing this information could be the difference between life and death if you are injured and cannot call for help.”