For the second time within a week, a speed flyer—a form of paragliding—has crashed in Blaine County.
The latest accident occurred Friday evening in Hailey. Wood River Fire & Rescue Chief Bart Lassman said a 40-year-old man, whose name was not available, crashed near Cutters Drive in northeast Hailey shortly before 8:30 p.m.
Lassman said the man did not lose consciousness and “his chief complaint was severe lower back pain.” He was transported by ambulance to St. Luke’s Wood River hospital.
The accident was not investigated by Hailey police.
“Witnesses to the accident say he was speed flying down Red Devil Mountain,” Lassman said.
Speed flying is similar to paragliding except that speed flyers use a “speed wing” craft. While paragliders soar for altitude and distance, speed flyers descend from a peak, staying close to the ground for a quick descent.
Lassman said the injured man was not from Blaine County, but that he was speed flying with the same group in which another man was injured on Saturday, June 8.
In that accident, 21-year-old Jordan Niedrich suffered a broken leg and cuts when he crashed a speed wing on Lookout Mountain south of Bellevue. He was flown by emergency helicopter to Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center after an all-night rescue to retrieve him from the mountain. He was released from the hospital on Monday, June 10.