Berks County teen saved after falling down cliff

November 30, 2010 3:39:54 PM PST
In retrospect, three teenagers from Berks County admit it was a really bad idea.

17-year-old Josh Stanley, 19-year-old Joshua Arndt, Josh's cousin Robert Miller and another friend were on a camping trip in Longswamp Township.

It was during the overnight hours this past Saturday when they decided to repel down a cliff that led to an abandoned mine shaft. As Josh started his descent, he slipped and fell.

"All we saw was him disappear in the blackness, we couldn't see him falling, we just heard all these thuds and sickening crunching noises and I started screaming out his name," Arndt said.

But Josh was unconscious.

Fortunately, they were all carrying cell phones.

Rescue crews arrived quickly, but the sun had already risen by the time they were able to safely finish the job.

"They got me in a neck brace and I went in there all bloodied up for a good 5 hours before they got me out [of the shaft]," Stanley said.

In the end, Josh spent the rest of the weekend in the hospital, but he walked away with only a relatively minor skull fracture, a concussion, and a few lacerations.

But their adventure may not be over yet. The mine shaft, they fell in, is down a trail on private property, so they face the possibility of trespassing charges.

Still, Joshua Arndt says if that's the worst that comes of all this, that's not too bad.


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