Parachutist rescued from Missouri radio tower



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14/11/01   A man s plan to leap from a Missouri radio tower south of St. Louis went awry when his parachute got stuck on a supporting wire, leaving him suspended 155 feet above the ground. The parachutist, Timothy Church, 27, and a second man, Brandon Travis, 26, were arrested for trespassing on private property, St. Louis County Police spokesman Brian Schellman said. Travis helped Church gain access to the tower, he said. Church was rescued by a firefighter trained in high-suspension rescues who climbed the tower and got a rope and pulley to the man. He was then secured and lowered to the ground just before midnight Thursday, said Brian Hendricks, chief of the Mehlville Fire Protection District. "It appears he climbed the tower, jumped, deployed his parachute and as he was coming to the ground he became entangled in the guy wire," Hendricks said in an interview. Church was stuck on the wire about 20 feet from the tower for two hours, Hendricks said.

"He was in a significant amount of stress due to suspension trauma, hanging in the harness for that long. But, all-in-all when we got him on the ground he was able to walk," Hendricks told St. Louis television station KMOV.

Hendricks said Church was taken to a hospital for treatment of injuries that were not believed to be serious.