STONE MOUNTAIN — Officials at Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park said Wednesday they’re considering extra safety features after a pair of teenagers slid about 200 feet down the mountain’s jagged, backside before being rescued.
The male teenagers, an unidentified man and his 12-year-old son were likely unaware that they were hiking in a restricted area of the park outside Atlanta when the teens began their slide, Stone Mountain Park police spokesman John Bankhead said. The part of the mountain that the teens were hiking on was slick, Bankhead said, adding that one of the teens began slipping and the other tried grabbing him.
The teenagers slid about 100 feet, then down a 10- to 15-foot drop above an area of quarried rock. After hitting the rocks, the teens slid another 100 feet until they came to rest in a small pond, Bankhead said.
“They were very lucky to not be killed,” Bankhead said.
The victims, ages 17 and 18, were seriously injured with various injuries. The 12-year-old boy was also rescued from the mountain after his father hiked back down to get the cellular signal he needed to summon help, Bankhead said.
WSB-TV reported that one of the teens was released from the Gwinnett Medical Center while the more severely injured of the two was preparing to have his jaw wired shut at the Atlanta Medical Center.
Bankhead says warning signs about the restricted area are routinely stolen from the backside of the mountain and that officials will likely use painted lines there to warn visitors of danger. He said the group likely hiked up the mountain from the back side.
“We could put up signs. We don’t think it would make any difference. People would ignore them.” Bankhead said, adding that the last accident on the back side of Stone Mountain was about 15 years ago.