Published September 17, 2011
BLUE JOHN CANYON, Utah – A man with a broken leg crawled through the Utah desert for four days and three nights without any warm clothing or map before being rescued, the National Park Service reported Friday.
The drama in Little Blue John Canyon unfolded only a short distance from where a trapped climber was forced to cut off his own arm in an incident that was immortalized in the movie "127 Hours."
A helicopter search team found Amos Richards crawling in the canyon area late Monday, before evacuating the 64-year-old, who was suffering leg fractures, internal injuries, trauma and dehydration.
Richards, from North Carolina, had fallen about 10 feet (three meters), suffering extensive leg trauma in the process.
"Richards couldn't bear weight on his right leg, so spent the next four days and three nights crawling across the desert in an attempt to get back to his car," the Park Service said.
"He had no overnight gear, warm clothes or a map, but did have five liters of water and two power bars with him. No one knew where he was or what his plans were. It rained on him several times as he crawled across the desert."
A search began several days after rangers began investigating an abandoned campsite nearby.
Blue John Canyon was made famous by Aron Ralston, who was forced to cut off his own arm with a pocket knife after spending several days pinned by a boulder following a rock climbing accident in May 2003.
Ralston's story made worldwide headlines and has since been turned into a book and, last year, the movie "127 hours."
The Park Service said Friday that Richards is expected to make a full recovery.