82-Year-Old Hiker Leads Rescue Crews to Injured 29-Year-Old on Sierra Madre Trail

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An 82-year-old hiker was able to use a GPS-tracking device to lead rescue officials to a younger hiker who had been injured near Jones Peak in the hills above Sierra Madre, officials said Wednesday.

Bruce Calkins activated his personal location device, used by hikers to alert certain contacts when they are in distress, summoning the Sierra Madre Search and Rescue Team to his location in Bailey Canyon Wilderness Park, according to a release from L.A. County Sheriff Department’s Temple Station. Officials did not specify what day or time the alert was issued.

Ground crews were deployed and picked up by a Los Angeles County Sheriff’s helicopter, which dropped them near the peak.

Officials found Calkins with a 29-year-old man who had fallen 30 feet, officials said. The young man said he was in pain and had suffered visible injuries.

Calkins, a Pasadena resident, hikes regularly and was aware he could use the GPS-device to lead searchers to the injured man’s exact location. He then stayed by the younger man’s side to provide support and comfort, even giving him his own socks when he realized the man lost a shoe during his tumble, according to the rescuers.

The 29-year-old was taken by helicopter to a nearby hospital and was treated for his injuries, authorities said.

“Although the injuries were not life-threatening, without the aid of another, it is unknown how long the injured male would have been alone on the trail,” officials said in the statement.

Officials originally reported Calkins’ age as 85, but he later told KTLA he is only 82.

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