Soddy-Daisy man survives 70 foot fall - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Soddy-Daisy man survives 70 foot fall after chasing 'mountain lion'

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SODDY DAISY, TN (WRCB) -

A Soddy-Daisy man survives after a 70 foot fall from a tree. It happened Tuesday night on the ridge near Ward Road. The man told rescue workers he was chasing after what he says was a "mountain lion," when he climbed out on a tree and fell.

A family member tells Channel 3 it is 33-year-old Jason Newman who fell from the tree. They say he is lucky to be alive. He has several broken bones. His neighbor says rescue workers should be praised for navigating the rough terrain to get Jason off the ridge.

"It had to be at least half a mile, maybe even further," says Brian Henry.

Brian Henry says it was around 8:30 Tuesday night when he heard Newman, better known as 'cuz,' yelling for help. It took him a minute to figure out the screams were coming from the ridge behind his house.

"When you can only see 30 to 50 feet in front of you, it's hard to pick a direction on which way to go because you're trying to follow this man's voice, who ended up being way up there," says Henry.

Henry, along with Jason's cousin and girlfriend, made the long trek through briers and brush to find him.

"We took off up the mountain and just kept listening for him."

They found him in a clearing, screaming in pain.

"He said that he saw a mountain lion and that he chased it and climbed up a tree," says Henry.

Jason fell about 70 feet down the side of the ridge.

"He was in a lot of pain."

He fractured his back, broke an arm in two places, and broke his left femur and ankle. Rescue workers made the difficult climb. It took them about two hours to get him down off the mountain.

As far as Newman chasing a mountain lion, Henry says, "To me, that sound backwards. Usually, you see a mountain lion, you'd think the mountain lion would chase you up the tree."
     
He is just glad Jason survived the fall.

"I'm glad he's okay. And if his story's true, I don't recommend chasing a mountain lion," says Henry.

Newman's cousin says he was in surgery Wednesday and is expected to recover.

Newman never said why he was chasing the animal. But he was most likely chasing a bobcat, not a mountain lion. According to Fish and Wildlife, the last confirmed sighting of a mountain lion in this part of the country was in the 1930s.

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