Woman says she’s lucky to be alive after a 50-foot fall in Devil’s Lake State Park

The Manawa woman fell 50-feet, then another 10-feet before hitting a tree.
Published: Oct. 26, 2020 at 10:31 PM CDT
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BARABOO, Wis. (WMTV) - A Manawa woman is recovering after she survived what could have been a deadly fall in Devil’s Lake State Park.

On October 17, Kassie Dunnihoo says she was hiking with her closest friends when they stopped near Devil’s Doorway Rock Formation to take a picture.

She tells NBC15 it was a small area and she was trying to find a spot to stand when she slipped on a rock.

“I tried to grab a tree to catch myself and then I fell 50-feet. The hill was so steep that I slipped another 10-feet and I was stopped by a tree,” she said.

In that moment of terror, she says two strangers immediately came to here rescue.

“These two men came out of nowhere from different directions," said Dunnihoo.

She says the two men didn’t know each other but both came over to help and told her everything would be okay.

"At one point I was slipping and they leaned against me to make sure I wouldn’t fall again,” she said.

The strangers stayed with her until the Baraboo Rope Rescue Team arrived.

Dunnihoo says it’s refreshing to know that there are still good people in the world, willing to take a risk for someone they don’t know.

“That hill was very steep. Who knows what could have happened if they slipped.” She said they willingly put themselves at risk to save her.

'It’s unreal and i’ll never be able to thank them enough for it," she said.

Dunnihoo walked away from the incident with only minor injuries that include some cuts to her face and severe bruising.

“I’m very lucky,” she says.

She was treated at St. Clare Hospital in Baraboo and says she wants to warn others visiting Wisconsin State Parks to make safety a priority.

“It’s a beautiful place and the views are amazing but just be cautious, don’t take any risks, and don’t do what I did,” says Dunnihoo.

NBC15 reached out to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources about the incident. They provided some safety tips for visitors of Wisconsin State Parks.

Mike Green, Sauk County warden supervisor says it’s especially important to be cautious during this time of year as wet weather can make rocks slippery.

Green suggests staying on marked hiking trails and always wearing appropriate footwear.

Officials say in recent years, falls have been fatal in Devil’s Lake State Park.

Dunnihoo says she’s thankful to be alive and is now looking for one of the strangers who helped save her so she can thank him.

She says she knows his name is Travis and he’s from the Chicago area. She has been in contact with the other person who helped, a UW-Madison student who reached out to her on social media to make sure she was okay.

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