Teens injured hiking in White Tank Mountains

WADDELL, AZ - Emergency crews rescued a group of injured teenagers from the White Tank Mountains near Waddell Wednesday morning. 

At least one teenager in the group of five hikers may have broken a leg, according to Nick Pimentel, the only one in the group who wasn't hurt and called for help.

Pimentel told rescue crews he and his friends were hiking on an unmarked trail when a boulder dislodged and struck them.

Rescue crews described the boulder as massive and possibly weighing more than 700 pounds, said Sgt. Brandon Jones, a spokesperson for Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

Pimentel, 18, said one the girl's boyfriends tried to stop the boulder, but then two others got caught. 

Four of the five kids suffered injuries, including lacerations. 

Air15 video showed a DPS helicopter airlifting the teens off the side of the mountain. 


"We train for this all the time," said Hunter French, a pilot with Department of Public Safety.

"Today the conditions were perfect, the wind was calm, it was cool out and low elevation."

The fifth teen rescued was long-lined because she couldn't walk to the chopper. 

The helicopter pilot said he was hovering approximately 10 feet from the side of the mountain and a foot off the ground during the rescue.

Footage showed the group being transported down to a parking lot and being assisted by medical personnel.

"It feels great that they're safe," said Pimentel.

"That was my main goal...to keep them safe up there."

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