Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation & Special Operations Unit rescues injured volunteer on Great Smoky Mtns
A volunteer injured while working in the Smoky Mountains was rescued by The Tennessee Highway Patrol Aviation and Special Operations Unit.
Sixty-eight-year-old Vetice Bates, a volunteer “Trail Blazer” with the National Park Service, was working with the backcountry horsemen to pack out equipment used by the Rocky Top Appalachian Trail Crew when he was injured after falling from his horse Saturday evening.
A nighttime rescue was deemed to risky so members of the park's search and rescue team hiked up the trail with equipment to stay with him overnight.
Because of fog, the THP aviation unit was delayed in getting to the area. They did manage to arrive around noon at the local airport, picked up a park medic went on to the scene. The crew was able to locate and retrieve the victim. The THP aviation unit was delayed due to heavy fog on Sunday morning; however, arrived at the Sevierville Airport by noontime to pick up a
Bates was taken to the hospital where he is listed in serious condition.