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Avery Tanner, a senior at Wasatch High School, was injured in a climbing accident at Wasatch Mountain STate Park on Saturday. (Photo couresy Caysie Riley)
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Utah Teen Breaks Friend’s Rock Climbing Fall, Likely Saving Her Life

Murray, UT — It was supposed to be a prom day activity with a group of friends from Wasatch High School but turned into a rescue operation after a teen fell nearly 30 feet.

Braden Patterson said he was tasked with belaying 18-year-old Avery Tanner at a popular rock climbing spot at Wasatch Mountian State Park Saturday morning when she suddenly fell.

“We don’t know what went wrong, but she just fell and it’s just a blur from there,” Patterson said.

Patterson said he was not even thinking. When he saw her falling, it was his instant reaction to put his arms out and catch her.

“The next thing I remember after seeing her fall she was just laying in my arms,” he said. “It would have ended up a lot worse than it had.”

The unexplainable catch may have saved Tanner’s life. The teen hit her head on the way down.

“She fell backwards so the best we can guess is she got her head on the wall and then she kind of bounced,” Patterson said. “It’s just an accident that could’ve happened to anyone at any time.”

Avery was life-flighted to Intermountain Medical Center in Murray with a fractured skull and is now in a coma. Her family said she had a long road of recovery ahead of her.

“I feel like as a family we’ve been through hard things and nothing compares to the last two days,” her father Jesse Riley said. “We just have to give her time before she wants to come out of [the coma].

The community has started a GoFundMe page* to help the family with Avery’s medical bills.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

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