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The accident occurred during a nighttime military exercise. The Marine was not seriously injured.
Sunday, September 8, 2013
A U.S. Marine tumbled about 200 feet down a ravine during a military training exercise Friday night in Rockbridge County, but escaped serious injury.
Glasgow fire and rescue crews worked with the military and U.S. Forest Service officials to bring the Marine back up to safety, according to Robert Foresman, emergency management coordinator for Rockbridge County.
A medical evaluation at the scene revealed no life-threatening injuries or broken bones. The Marine was taken to Carilion Stonewall Jackson Hospital for further examination.
Foresman said he did not have the Marine’s name or information on his condition.
The accident happened about 10:45 p.m., in a part of the George Washington National Forest close to the dead-end of James River Road.
As part of the military exercise, a group of Marines was traversing the edge of the ravine when the Marine apparently stepped on unstable ground and fell into the crevice, Foresman said.
The 200-foot descent was not a free fall, but rather a series of tumbles and rolls down the steep slope.
By the time rescue officials arrived, a military medic was with the Marine, Foresman said.
The rescue took several hours, with the Marine being strapped to a back board and placed in an emergency basket before he was moved.
The weekend training involved members of the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit, based at Camp Lejeune, N.C., and is taking place near the former Natural Bridge Juvenile Correctional Center on Arnolds Valley Road as part of a realistic urban training exercise, unit spokesman Capt. Stewart Coles said earlier.
The training ground is about 7 miles off Interstate 81.
People in the area may notice more military aircraft and vehicles on the ground, as well as military members and role players participating in the area, Coles said.
Friday night’s accident did not seem to have a major impact on the exercise, Foresman said.
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