Lacey hiker hospitalized in serious condition after breaking both legs

LEAVENWORTH - A hiker who fell and fractured both of his legs while ascending Aasgard Pass Thursday was in serious condition Saturday morning at Central Washington Hospital.

A helicopter crew from Fairchild Air Force Base rescued Kwang R. Jang, 64, of Lacey, shortly before 10 a.m., said Chelan County Sheriff's Chief of Administration Jerry Moore.

He was leading a day hike with a party of 10 people. Three of them, including Jang, left Colchuck Lake to hike up Aasgard Pass, Moore said.

"There's a section where there's just a huge boulder field, and you're literally jumping from boulder to boulder the size of VWs and SUVs," Moore said. Jang didn't gauge one of his jumps correctly and fell off the boulder into standing water below, Moore said. He severely fractured both of his legs below the knee.

After he fell, the two women who had hiked up with him got word to the group at the lake, and that group hiked out and reported the fall to emergency dispatchers, Moore said.

The two women stayed with Jang through the night until a deputy and several volunteers - including two medics and two EMTs - arrived at about 10 p.m. They determined his condition was serious, Moore said.

Moore said the Sheriff's Office strongly encourages people who regularly hike in the back country to invest in a SPOT locator device, which when activated, sends a signal to a satellite and then to a control center, which notifies the nearest emergency department.

"What it does is gives the person who's lost or injured a better chance of survival," he said.

Information was still sketchy and incomplete Friday morning, when it was reported that the two women left Jang was alone. That was not the case, Moore said.