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Utah man partially crushed by boulder after gem hunting accident

Posted at 11:58 AM, Apr 26, 2021

JUAB COUNTY, Utah — A Utah man was in the western part of the state on Saturday looking for gemstones when he chipped a rock that gave way to a boulder, carrying him down the mountain.

Taylor Horton was at Topaz Mountain in Juab County with some family and friends when he chipped at a rock that ended up causing him to tumble about 20 feet down the slope, ultimately shattering his ankle and chipping his elbow.

“I was off to the side of [the boulder] and it kind of grabbed me... It kind of landed on my left side, and that’s pretty much where it did its entire number is my left arm and my left ankle," said Horton. “It kind of fell on top of me and I was able to have my little brother to help push it off of me, and it actually it chipped a couple of piece off on my elbow as well.”

Horton says his girlfriend ran for help further down the mountain and he was kept in good spirits by some "good Samaritans" nearby. The incident first occurred around noon, and AirMed responded shortly after to transport him to Utah Valley Hospital for evaluation.

"The recovery from where he was at to the helicopter took them 20 to 30 minutes because the hike was up and down and very rocky," Horton's girlfriend told KSTU. "We had a lot of people help wave the helicopter down and point them in the right direction."

Horton is back home recovering and says that he feels lucky the boulder didn't fully land on him, causing potentially worse injury. He also mentioned that he has been traveling all over the state to look for rare gems and has been out to Topaz Mountain several times in the last couple of years.

This story was originally published by Brian Schnee at KSTU.