UMass Amherst student survives 80-foot fall from Sugarloaf Mountain cliff

A 20-year-old UMass Amherst student hiking with fraternity brothers Saturday afternoon survived an 80-foot fall from a cliff in Mount Sugarloaf State Reservation, Deerfield police said.

“The victim went off trail, slipped, and fell approximately 80 feet and slid some more,” said Deerfield Police Sergeant Harry Ruddock. He said nearby witnesses called the police.

The student, who was taken by medical helicopter to UMass Memorial Medical Center in Worcester, suffered non-life threatening injuries, said Ruddock.

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The rescue mission, carried out by multiple police and fire departments from surrounding communities and Greenfield Fire Department’s High Angle rescue unit, took just under two hours.

“We were able to reach him from the ground level. They made the ascent up and descended back down with him,” Ruddock said.

Although Ruddock said Mount Sugarloaf is a fairly small mountain but is topped by some extensive cliffs. It is unknown whether the victim was on the northern or southern summit of the mountain.

“He was lucky, definitely lucky,” Ruddock said.