Family lost in Polk County hiking event are rescued
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Dec 31, 2012 | 2524 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
West Polk Fire and Rescue personnel and others were involved in a search for a family who strayed off the beaten path during a hiking trip, according to officials.

Richard Taylor of the Search and Rescue Team said Saturday the mother of the family was hospitalized after suffering severe hyperthermia. Cold conditions in the region, coupled with rain were evident throughout the search mission which began just after dark Friday.

According to Taylor, the family planned to hike from the Starr Mountain area to Gee Creek. They got off the main trail and were lost.

Taylor said a cellphone was used to call for help. The family had been in the woods for approximately six hours.

Rescuers got under way after attempting to locate the origin of the cell call, but Taylor said the phone couldn’t be pinpointed.

He learned new information and approximately 45 minutes after beginning the search, rescuers reached the family.

“We used ropes and baskets to lower the four people from the trail and eventually to safety,” Taylor said.

The son and daughter in the group were also taken to an area hospital for treatment and later released. The father of the group walked out under his own power, according to Taylor.

Taylor said the mother remained hospitalized Saturday afternoon. Bradley County Fire Rescue, McMinn County Fire and Tennessee State Parks officials also aided in the search and rescue effort.

n Tennessee Highway Patrol will be conducting Drivers License Roadside Safety and Sobriety Checkpoints in Polk County beginning this weekend.

The checkpoints will be set up in random location in the county.

According to THP officials, checkpoints are an effective means of recognizing the dangers presented to the driving public, by motorists who would violate the drivers license laws of the state.

All scheduled checkpoints are contingent upon weather conditions and manpower availability. Bradley County Sheriff’s Office and Cleveland Police Department officers will also be working to curtail drunk driving, perform seat belt checks and other duties associated with driving the approaching New Year’s holiday.

According to Capt. W.G. Campbell of the Bradley County Sheriff’s Office, a number of checkpoints are planned with CPD. Thirteen traffic deaths have occurred within the city limits of Cleveland this year.

Charleston Police Department will also be performing saturation patrols and observing drivers during the holiday.