published Saturday, February 23rd, 2013

Rescuers pull Georgia Tech student out of a Franklin County cave, airlift him to Erlanger in Chattanooga

Rescuers pulled a Georgia Tech student out of a Franklin County cave Saturday evening and airlifted him to Erlanger hospital in Chattanooga, authorities said.

Steven Touchton, 21, came to Tennessee with a 17-person cave-exploring team from Georgia Tech this weekend. The group was in a cave in Sherwood about 2:30 p.m. when Touchton fell about 40 feet, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Chris Guess said.

Rescuers from the Hamilton County Rescue Squad, the Crow Creek Fire Department and Franklin County’s rescue squad, sheriff’s office and Rural Metro paramedics worked to retrieve Touchton from the cave.

They got him out around 8:20 p.m. Saturday. He did not appear to suffer any serious injuries, Guess said, but he did complain of back and knee pain.

Guess said this is the second time in less than a year that someone has fallen inside one of the Franklin County caves.

“If groups are going to go in that area,” he said, “they need to be careful.”

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