Sonora man rescued after fallling into gold mine |

Sonora man rescued after fallling into gold mine

SONORA — A 34-year-old man was rescued from an abandoned gold mine Sunday morning after spending two nights at the bottom of the dark shaft he’d tumbled down, according to authorities.

A Los Angeles-based search and rescue team pulled Darvis Lee Jr., of Sonora, from the mine at about 5:50 a.m. after lowering a rescue worker and a mesh basket into the chasm, according to the Tuolumne County Sheriff’s Department. He was released from the local hospital where he was treated for back and leg injuries.

Lee fell more than 100 feet down the shaft while exploring the mine on Friday night. Authorities were contacted on Saturday after a friend who had gone with him realized Lee had not returned home and a neighbor was able to make voice contact with Lee from inside the mine, which sits on Bureau of Land Management property.

His rescue was briefly delayed because local law enforcement did not have the right equipment and experience for the job. In the meantime, local authorities lowered Lee a helmet, food and water.

Lying in the back of a pickup truck, Lee apologized for the incident.

“I walked in there, and I fell. It was dark, and I didn’t know when I was going to stop” he told the Union Democrat newspaper. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry.”


Information from: The Union Democrat,

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