UPDATE: Rescue response after woman falls at Lincoln Park

11:29 AM: Seattle Fire has a big response arriving at Lincoln Park, where SFD says “are investigating reports of a person that has fallen down a cliff from a trail.”

11:33 AM: We don’t know the exact location but this is described as near a trail and stairs, apparently toward the north end of the park; firefighters have spotted the victim and are headed in toward her. … She’s reported to be 15 feet down a slope.

(Added: WSB photo)

11:41 AM: Rescuers have just radioed that they’re about to pull the victim up a slope. Her injuries are so far not believed to be major.

11:52 AM: Some SFD units are staged on 47th SW and they’re asking SPD for traffic-control help; avoid that area for a while.

11:57 AM: SFD says the victim has been brought up and will be taken to a hospital. At the scene, they also confirm to us that her injuries are not life-threatening and that this indeed happened toward the north end of the park.

12:08 PM: Our crew tells us the (updated) 64-year-old woman is being transported by AMR ambulance. SFD units are starting to leave.

40 Replies to "UPDATE: Rescue response after woman falls at Lincoln Park"

  • Aaron June 14, 2024 (11:36 am)

    Gatewood Elementary was having a field day or end of year party or something there this morning. I hope it wasn’t any of the kids.

    • WSB June 14, 2024 (12:00 pm)

      We don’t have an age on the victim yet but my partner is at the park and says this is in an isolated area toward the north end, no kids (school groups or otherwise) in sight (aside from the play area).

      • WSB June 14, 2024 (12:10 pm)

        Update, the person who fell is an adult.

      • M.S. June 15, 2024 (11:43 am)

        Why do you need an age?I see no reason for it and she may be sensitive to putting out there.  Not only respecting her privacy but for security reasons as well.The less personal info, the safer.

        • K June 16, 2024 (7:06 am)

          Posting ages and genders is routine in journalism, and allows the scores of people reading to quickly deduce if their loved one was involved (or follow up with the appropriate people if it leads them to believe the person is someone they know).  There are enough 64-year-old women in the area, I don’t imagine someone could identify her by this information alone.

  • HS June 14, 2024 (11:44 am)

    I hope she’s okay. Thankful that she was able to call, or someone saw her fall and called.

  • Daiso Gal June 14, 2024 (11:46 am)

    Some continuation of the nice split-rail fencing down some of the trails with the steep cliffs would prevent the need for such rescues. I get a bit queasy going up and down a few sections of the central Coleman Pool trail.

    • To Daiso girl June 14, 2024 (6:45 pm)

      for you, the south driveway is better for pool/beach access… nice walk as well 

      • Daiso Gal June 14, 2024 (8:59 pm)

        Thanks, but I don’t use the pool, I just hike up and down the trails a lot.

  • JustSarah June 14, 2024 (12:38 pm)

    Oh, wow! I was walking the park from about 9:45-11 and also passed multiple school groups (Gatewood field day, and I think a running event from Mercer Island School District), so my first thought was also that it could have been a kid. Obviously not great no matter the age, and I’m glad they’re not seriously injured. Would have definitely gone over to help with traffic control but was gardening and just saw this :-(

  • J June 14, 2024 (1:11 pm)

    The trails going down are not properly maintained.  

    There are numerous dangerous ‘false’ trails along the top pathways that people attempt to descend. 

    It is tragic the way we have allowed Seattle Parks to ignore needed safety maintenance of Lincoln Park.

    • New Deal June 14, 2024 (3:01 pm)

      Perhaps because we are spending all our money on healthy streets and bike lanes to nowhere.  And please, don’t tell me that is another budget.  When I can’t afford food, I pull from my entertainment budget.  

    • Oakley34 June 14, 2024 (5:21 pm)

      I agree about the maintenance, but the false trails are more of a people not being educated (trying to phrase nicely). I saw a father let his two very young kids lead them all down a trail that cuts off maybe 2/3 of the way down and I was flabbergasted, both at the potential for injury (these kids were maybe 5-8 yrs) and the failure of the dad to teach his kids about outdoor safety and park etiquette. And I realized he was probably never taught either…

  • onion June 14, 2024 (3:16 pm)

    I agree with J that the trails could be better maintained. I use the trail in question almost every time I visit Lincoln Park. It requires users to exercise a certain amount of awareness, caution, and common sense. I obviously don’t know the circumstances of this incident. But I hope the Parks Department reviews this incident carefully to identify steps they can take to enhance trail safety without taking the north bluff-to-waterfront trail offline.

  • prioritiespeople June 14, 2024 (4:32 pm)

    I know those trails well. I think the trails are fine and we need investment in other areas of the city.  If you are unable to navigate a 3 foot wide well-beaten path with a good slope to it without concern – then don’t take the path. This woman would need to have something else going on that affected her judgement or balance to fall off that northern trail to the bluff.   I wish her well, but let’s prioritize city dollars properly. There is a smooth trail/drive from the south parking lot to Colman for folks with mobility or focus challenges.

    • Sara June 14, 2024 (5:44 pm)

      Exactly. There are plenty of safe ways to get down to the water if that is the destination. The “hiking” trails are in fine shape for people who choose to walk on those trails. And, I also wish this person well. 

    • Karen B June 14, 2024 (8:09 pm)

      Feel superior much? Got empathy? Your conclusion that someone who fell or slipped on that trail potentially has a judgement issue and should not take the path anymore  is astonishing. I know the Lincoln Park trails well too. Has it crossed your mind that this person could have experienced some sudden pain, or had a balance issue for the first time, or be a first-timer in the park? It fries me to see that you “wish them well” but want them to get off the trail and presumably out of your way. As a runner/hiker/walker/skier, I can tell you that someday you too will fall or make some mistake and find yourself vulnerable. May we all find kind souls nearby when that happens…and fewer people jumping to conclusions about what we did wrong.    

      • Anne June 14, 2024 (8:35 pm)

        No one is blaming  the victim-simply  replying to the poster calling out the Parks Dept. Comments from trail users suggest the trails are in good shape & dollars could be spent elsewhere-where they’re needed more. It was mentioned that perhaps  something else  went on -that could have affected her balance or judgement & not the condition of the trail. 

        • Tracey June 15, 2024 (5:37 am)

          Oh my.  Welcome to Seattle.  You people (besides Karen) are awful.  Embarrassed by you and for you. 

        • jedidiahperkins June 15, 2024 (9:02 am)

          Weren’t you just arguing with me about false alarm water rescues being so important to SFD et al? Where is that energy for this person who was actually injured? You are blaming the victim by acting like they were scaling the cliff on crutches rather than the possibility of them simply having a misstep, as humans sometimes do. Wild.

      • K June 15, 2024 (8:14 am)

        Right on, Karen. There are plenty of reasons that trail can become dangerous. I’ve encountered unannounced passing from Strava dudes and other people on those steps with dogs or kids and it quickly becomes narrow and hazardous in a few spots. I am active and without physical disability and I’ve thought about the safety of those stairs for a while. We all are likely to become disabled at some point in our lives, and making our parks safer and more accessible is a no-brainer and great way to care for our community. These stairs won’t become accessible to all with a railing, but they could really prevent accidents like these. 

      • Teri June 16, 2024 (12:16 am)

        Well said!

    • J June 17, 2024 (11:35 am)

      For the record.

  • Pam June 14, 2024 (5:21 pm)

    It was a neighbor’s dogsitters from out of town.  She stumbled her toe on one of the stairs and fell down the slope. Her husband was walking with her luckily but he was unable to navigate the slope. Some people came to help but none could safely reach her so 911 was called. She either broke her arm or dislocated her shoulder. They are still waiting for X-ray results. 

    • 1994 June 14, 2024 (10:33 pm)

      Thanks for sharing! Anyone can stumble their toe on any trail! Or step on a loose rock and lose your footing! Anyone! Sorry this happened and wish her a good recovery!!

    • Hannah June 15, 2024 (9:05 am)

      Hello, thank you for this update—me and my mother, who is a physician, and her friend, a nurse, were on a walk when this happened. They went down the slope and stayed with her until 911 came. We would love any follow-ups on how she is doing that they are comfortable sharing!

      • elizabeth June 16, 2024 (11:30 am)

        Hannah, I’m a sister to the experienced hiker who fell & I cannot thank you, and your mother and her friend enough!!! I will be sure to let you know once we hear more, but as of now – she’s in very good hands!!! We’re so blessed you were on the same trail when it happened🤘🫶📐

        • Hannah June 19, 2024 (8:40 am)

          Oh perfect! Hoping she will recover fast.

  • Tracey June 15, 2024 (5:32 am)

    That trail is in horrible condition.  The stairs are awkward because they aren’t consistently placed apart.   It would be easier without them. One miss step and you are down a cliff with no barrier from foliage or man made.  I have stopped using it for that very reason.  I rollerblade Alki regularly so consider my balance to be pretty good.   Best wishes for a speedy recovery.  Next time you visit Lincoln Park use the South access to the water.  Sorry you had this experience at our lovely gem of a park.

  • WSPedestrian June 15, 2024 (10:20 am)

    Lots of back and forth ITT about changing the trail vs a person’s ability. Why not just put a sign up stating the trail is a little tougher than the rest? People would be able to make decisions based on their own ability and would preserve a more challenging trail for those who like that kind of thing. 

  • bolo June 15, 2024 (11:01 am)

    Looks like that trail needs some signs along its way designating it as a black diamond trail (like the most difficult ski slopes). Then people can decide whether or not they want to risk it. Shouldn’t cost too much.

  • jedidiahperkins June 15, 2024 (11:22 am)

    This neighborhood is so wild! People are acting like this individual was scaling the cliff on crutches or something. While it sounds like many of you have never been involved in an accident, I can assure you it happens to people of all abilities, and sometimes the outcome is an injury. I hope they recover quickly!

    By the way, a number of you were just arguing with me the other day how important false alarm water rescues are to this community. Where is that energy for a person who was actually injured? This seems like it was a perfect training opportunity for the first responders as well as SFD et al. It can also be an opportunity for Seattle Parks, whose offices and equipment are like 500 feet away, to evaluate the area ensuring safety for all. Am I missing something here or are we really this selective with how we view things in our neighborhood?

  • Trail hiker June 15, 2024 (12:05 pm)

    My neighbor’s dog fell off the north trail and she lost him. Her husband came home later and searched at that spot in the dark and found the dog on the hill all twisted up in it’s leash unable to move. The dog was ok and in the end, neighbors graciously laugh about it whenever it’s brought up, as does the owners. 

  • Wseattleite June 15, 2024 (12:31 pm)

    It’s amazing how so many of the same people who herald Lincoln Park as some sort of natural place want access that is not natural at all.  

    • K June 15, 2024 (2:30 pm)

      How do you know it’s the same people? There’s like at least 1 different person with my initials that comments frequently, and there’s no requirement to use the same username on here across different articles. 😅

    • Daiso Gal June 16, 2024 (1:02 pm)

      Wseattleite, Human-built trails aren’t natural. They are meant for safe passage through wild areas so the foliage and soil doesn’t get disturbed. A dangerous, poorly-maintained trail (which we all pay taxes for) doesn’t make any sense and often causes park users to blaze their own trails through protected areas.

  • WiseWoman June 16, 2024 (2:25 pm)

    Lots of judgments and assumptions. Why oh why since Covid people are so disrespectful towards others. Everyone has value and I suggest some of you take an internal look at yourselves. This is not the reactions of real West Seattlites who grew up here!!

  • NNomads June 19, 2024 (1:11 pm)

    I am the woman who stumbled and fell down the hill at Lincoln Park.  Please let me thank you for all your warm and well wishes and extra special thanks to all those involved with my rescue including an off-duty doctor and nurse, Fire Rescue, EMT’s from AMR, and those other trail Angels.My husband and I were visiting your lovely, lush West Seattle community and were excited to explore beautiful Lincoln Park. We had just hiked there the day before the accident and used the south access points that had an easier grade. We enjoyed the park so much we returned the next day and hiked with the dogs from south to north intending to ascend the far north trail, because there was a mass of school children at the Southend. We were about 2/3 of the way up the trail when I encountered a run of 20+ stairs.  The very first step was high and uneven from the rest. There was no railing to impede my fall, not that I expected one. I thought I had a good foothold, I had on great hiking boots, but my foot did not land squarely where it needed to be, and I lost my balance and rolled over the side of the embankment.  It was very steep, and my momentum kept propelling me down the slope, only slowed by the trees I hit. Fortunately, I was able to rotate my body with my head up which allowed me a chance to grab a lifesaving fern.When my husband realized that I went down, he tied off the dogs and worked his way down to me slipping and sliding all the way.  I knew that my injuries wouldn’t allow me to exit on my own accord. We then heard voices on the trail and requested they call for an emergency rescue.  The next thing I know a very kind doctor and nurse were beside me comforting me while we waited for the rescue team. They had descended the main trail until they could access me from a safe lateral position and then blazed their own trail through the woods to my location. They stayed with me and comforted me as they accessed my injuries to relay to the rescue crew.  From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you for your courage to help me in my time of need!The fire rescue crew were absolutely amazing–there must have been 2 dozen.  They had to navigate the steep terrain, bringing down lots of equipment–a gurney, back brace, lots of ropes, and gearbox. One fireman slipped but fortunately his safety rope worked but unfortunately the gearbox ran into me. It was very challenging for them to stabilize me on the hill (guessing 45 degree angle), roll me over with unknown trauma, hoist me up the hill, then navigate the narrow path to the top. This was probably a great training exercise for them, and I appreciated their precision and problem-solving ability ensuring our safe passage. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you to the Fire Rescue Team of Seattle.I was quite embarrassed by all the attention, emergency vehicles galore, and overwhelmed by the support of your city.  Thank you to my EMT’s Lizzie and Dane, for their awesomeness. It sure wasn’t easy cutting through 5 layers of clothing. They got me safely to the hospital and got me stabilized enroute and reassured me that they would stay until a bed was available. Harborview Hospital’s ER was very busy that Friday, midday, with a line of 4 or 5 ambulances in front of us. Fortunately, I didn’t have life threatening injuries, but it did take about an hour or so to get a bed and be assessed.The hospital crew was really efficient and caring and I felt like I was in good hands. We’re praying that healing can occur without surgery, but we won’t know for another week. In retrospect there is so much that could have gone wrong that day, even though I did find myself with some fairly painful injuries. I ended up with a proximal fracture of the humerus, a broken nose, and a severely bruised face from likely hitting the tree that smashed against my glasses, which likely saved more valuable body parts. We were glad to find out that the very tender rib was in fact just badly bruised and not fractured. I did also receive a couple of head contusions one from the gearbox and another one from likely hitting that tree, but the good news is that there was no brain bleeding, and all my other extremities were intact. From the bottom of my heart, I say thank you to The Orthopedic Surgical Team, Maxillofacial Team, ER Doctors, and Nurses (especially Jean) for your support during a long 10+ hours. For those interested in a little background, my husband and I are retired and have been traveling full-time for almost 10 years throughout the US, Canada, Mexico, and Europe.  We are very active, play lots of Pickleball, hike, and walk.  We really enjoy lots of hiking trails wherever we find ourselves, so this adventure was no exception. Washington has always been an annual trek for us given its perfect Summertime climate.In closing, let me thank you again, this wonderful community for helping me in my time of need. It will always be something I remember, not necessarily for the bad but for the good of the people that day. We’ve navigated hundreds of trails similar to this, so it was not something that was arduous for us, but a good level of awareness of the unevenness of the trail would likely help others in the future. I would absolutely encourage others to enjoy this gem of a park and I will someday likely hike it again. 

    • NNomads June 19, 2024 (4:36 pm)

      So sorry that the text formatting didn’t come through properly.

    • WSB June 19, 2024 (11:58 pm)

      Thank you for sharing your story!

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