Edwards resident rescues man from Vail creek | VailDaily.com

Edwards resident rescues man from Vail creek

Chris Outcalt
coutcalt@vaildaily.com
Vail, CO Colorado

VAIL, Colorado – Eric Dommer was working at the Vail Marriot StreamSide in Vail, Colorado Saturday morning when he noticed a man walking his dog along Gore Creek.

Dommer started walking toward the creek. It was a spot the man wasn’t really supposed to be and Dommer was going to talk to him. Before Dommer got there, the dog jumped in the water and pulled his owner in with him, Dommer said.

“The dog went in the water and he got pulled in behind the dog,” Dommer said. “His hand was on the leash.”

Dommer’s first reaction was to jump in the water after him, he said.

“I thought ‘well that would just put us both at risk,” he said. “That water was thumping.”

He decided to follow him along the creek, yelling and trying to keep the man’s attention. A couple hundred yards later, the man grabbed onto a low-hanging tree, Dommer said.

The man was only about five feet from the bank, he said.

“He’s hanging on for dear life,” Dommer said.

Dommer waded into the water and pulled the man to shore, he said. He lost sight of the dog, which has not been found.

“He was completely disoriented, but he was breathing and seemed responsive,” Dommer said.

Dommer decided to leave the man momentarily in order to get to a phone and call for help.

“I really hated leaving him down there, but it was the only way I could get help,” he said. “Once I got the guy to shore, my second priority was to just find some assistance.”

The man, whose identity was not released by Vail Valley Medical Center, was transported to the hospital. He was released later that day, hospital spokeswoman Denise Triba said.

Dommer said he wouldn’t have been able rescue the man without the help of co-worker Matthias Cox.

“He was very invaluable in helping out and getting him rescued,” Dommer said.

Staff Writer Chris Outcalt can be reached at 970-748-2931 or coutcalt@vaildaily.com.