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Harrah man, 18, survives tumble down Elk Mountain

Sam Raglin, 18, was hiking with friends when he lost his foothold and fell 25 feet down the south side of Elk Mountain. He suffered multiple injuries, but amazingly, was released from the hospital Saturday afternoon.
By Matt Dinger, Modified: July 17, 2010 at 8:40 pm •  Published: July 17, 2010

LAWTON — The ground slid from beneath Sam Raglin's feet, and he said he began to pray as he tumbled down Elk Mountain on Thursday morning.

Raglin, 18, of Harrah, came to about 10 or 15 minutes later. He had fallen about 25 feet down the mountain at the Wichita Mountains Wildlife Refuge, suffering a serious head injury along the way.

"I was just trying to find the quickest way to the top, and I got a little ahead of myself," Sam Raglin said.

Friend Jamen Nowka said: "I heard some scuffling, and I hear something like someone had lost their footing, nothing big. It didn't sound like anything bad and then I hear my friend Chris say, 'Sam fell. Sam fell, and it's bad.'"

Nowka was one of six friends with Raglin that day. They have all known each other since preschool, Nowka said.

"I got to Sam first. It was a real steep part. You had to really work to stand there. I get to him, and there's blood running down his head. He's unconscious and was making heavy breathing sounds," he said.

Two other friends were also able to get Raglin, who was pointed down the mountain and lying on his stomach. They flipped him over and began treating him with a first-aid kit they had with them.

A friend lower on the mountain made a call with his cell phone, and Nowka grabbed the phone as he scrambled down the mountain to meet park rangers and paramedics where their vehicle was parked.

They all hiked back to Raglin with medical supplies, but after seeing the terrain, an Army National Guard helicopter was brought in to lift him out of the area and into a medical helicopter.

He was taken to OU Medical Center, from where he was discharged Saturday afternoon, mother Anita Raglin said.

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