Thursday, September 27 2018 20:53 EEST
Grandfather dies protecting his grandson in 150-foot cliff fall
Grandfather, dies, protecting, grandson, 150-foot cliff fall, Jerry Greenough, Black Mountain, New Mexico, Austyn Kerley,

Austyn Kerley was on an off-roading trip with his family near the Red River earlier this month when he and his grandfather, Gerard Greenough, 63, got their jeep stuck on a mountain trail.

63-year-old Jerry Greenough has been making the same trip for about 20 years. What was new is it was the first year his twin 13-year-old grandsons got to go with him. But, on the way back down the mountain the next day, there was an unforeseen tragedy - the car he was in tumbled 150 feet down a mountain in New Mexico.

“We got stuck on a rock and, so, my papa tried to floor my jeep to get it over the rock, and the rock slid out and we just rolled down the hill,” Austyn said.

In the last moments of his life, Jerry Greenough reached out for his grandson, hoping to shield Austyn Kerley from the impact as the Jeep tumbled down the side of a mountain near Black Mountain, New Mexico.

Austyn’s father, Tony, and his brother, Tyler, were able to reach Austyn and haul him up the mountain.

It was a 150-foot fall, Amanda Kerley, Austyn’s mom and Greenough’s daughter, wrote on Facebook. After sliding, the Jeep began to roll.

An off-duty paramedic who was nearby slid down the mountain and attempted CPR on Greenough for roughly 20 minutes, but was unable to save him.

Two passersby rushed Austyn down the mountain trail to an ambulance, and the boy was later taken in a helicopter to the University New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque.

Austyn suffered from major blood loss, a lacerated pancreas and liver, broken clavicles and spinal fractures in his neck and back, according to his mother.

He was released from the hospital ahead of schedule, and is recovering at home.

As soon as he is able, Austyn and his family plan on hiking up to the crash site to honor the memory of his grandfather.

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