Tennessee National Guard rescues Smokies hiker amid illness

March 17, 2022 GMT

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee National Guard says it sent a medical flight crew to rescue a hiker whose illness rendered him unable to walk or stand while on the Appalachian Trail in Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

A guard news release says the rescue unfolded near Double Spring Gap Shelter on Tuesday.

The guard sent a crew on a UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter and lowered Sgt. 1st Class Giovanni DeZuani to assess the hiker as a paramedic.

The crew then hoisted the two up onto the helicopter, where the hiker received aid while the aircraft flew to the University of Tennessee Medical Center in Knoxville.