Superstition Mountain Rescue

Monday, 26 October 2009

By Jill Jones
Today Publications

When Alice Dodgson, 72, from Michigan embarked on a hike in Peralta Canyon on Thursday, October 22, 2009 she never expected to be returning from her hike in a helicopter, but that’s exactly what happened.

Ms. Dodgson fell after she slipped on some loose rock while hiking, resulting in a painful compound fracture of both the tibia and fibula. Superstition Search and Rescue and Sonoran Search and Rescue received the call to assist around 2 p.m.

Although it took rescuers a couple of hours to reach her, they said that Ms. Dodgson was a “real trooper,” stoically enduring the pain until help arrived. After attending to her injuries, it was determined that it would be best not to subject her to a bumpy ride down the mountain, so a DPS helicopter was called in to assist.

Ms. Dodgson was carefully loaded into a stokes basket and carried 1/2 mile up to Fremont Saddle where a DPS helicopter was waiting to take her to a nearby hospital for treatment.

“We got to the top, and the pilots shined their lights – which almost made them look like angels. Alice broke out in tears, and could not thank us all enough. They were grateful tears, not tears of pain. She was a trooper the whole way up,” said SSAR member Jeff Harris.

Superstition Search and Rescue (SSAR) and Sonoran Search and Rescue are volunteer service organizations affiliated with, but not funded by, the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office that assist individuals who experience wilderness-related problems in the Superstition Wilderness Area.

Both teams rely on donations from individuals and/or corporations and fund-raising activities to support the training and equipment needed to continue serving individuals who find themselves in a situation in which they require assistance. All donations are tax deductible and no matter what the amount, provide the group with valuable equipment and resources necessary to do their job – saving lives.

If you would like to donate to Superstition Search & Rescue, please send a check or money order payable to SSAR, P.O. Box 1123, Apache Junction, AZ 85217. For more information on SSAR or to make on online donation visit SSAR at

For information on Sonoran Search and Rescue visit their website at or call Louie Villa at 520-705-7511.