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Injured hiker, friends found after brief search

January 12, 2007|From a Times staff writer

A 14-year-old boy who apparently broke his ankle Thursday afternoon while hiking with friends in a mountainous area of Glendale was found after a brief search and taken to safety by helicopter.

Several fire department and law enforcement agencies, led by the Glendale Fire Department, responded to a 911 call from a group of five teenagers, including the injured boy, near Brand Park shortly after 5 p.m.

Glendale Fire Capt. Jim Frawley said the hiker was injured when it became dark sooner than the teens expected, and they tried to take a shortcut down the slope. He said the hikers were near the peak of Mt. Thom, whose elevation he estimated at 1,500 feet.

The search was hampered by cloudy weather but the teens were found about 6:30 p.m., and they were flown out by a Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department helicopter. The injured boy was taken to a hospital.

Frawley said the teens "did all the things you're not supposed to do when you're hiking," noting that they lacked food and cold-weather clothing, and took a shortcut to try to descend in a hurry.

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