Search for raccoon leads officer to injured woman trying to crawl home in Tennessee

Mark Price
·2 min read

A wildlife officer responding to a tip about an injured raccoon in the East Tennessee mountains instead found an injured woman, who was desperately trying to crawl on all fours back to her rural home, the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency reports.

It happened Sunday afternoon 10 miles east of Dandridge, in a sparsely populated area near Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the agency says.

“District 42 Wildlife Officer Chase Rich heard cries for help coming from nearby Ray Hollow Rd.,” the agency posted Monday on Facebook. “He drove to the location and located a woman trying to crawl back to her house with a dog on a leash.”

The woman had tumbled on an embankment and hurt her ankle, the agency reported. It’s not clear how she had been in need of help when the officer heard her cries.

“No one inside (her home) could hear her calling for help so Officer Rich took the dog to the house and notified the woman’s daughter, who called her father for help,” the state reported. “Officer Rich used a splint to stabilize her ankle and helped the injured woman’s father load her into a vehicle for a trip to the emergency room.”

The woman’s identify was not released, and officials have not provided an update on her condition.

More than 2,000 people have reacted and commented on the state’s Facebook post about the incident, with many lauding Rich for quick thinking.

“Thank you for answering a call for help, for having the courage to check it out and wisdom to know what to do to help!” Lisa Compton Romines wrote on the I Love Dandridge Facebook group.

“Glad the woman is okay and great job! I have to ask though ... what happened to the raccoon,” Joe Norris asked.

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