Details emerge about circumstances leading to Stone Mountain rescue

by: Carl Willis Updated:


STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - The young men who were rescued from Stone Mountain on Tuesday were searching for a secluded spot when they slid down the mountain, according to the youth minister who was with them.

"We were walking just down a little trail looking for a secluded spot where we could possibly have a Bible study, and it turned out to be a very horrifying experience," said youth minister Shayne Long.

Jason Landress, Sean Garber and Long's 12-year-old son were on the hike. Landress began to slide, said Long, and his weight pulled Garber down with him. Landress landed on a rock ledge and the impact crushed his jaw and broke some of his teeth.

Garber suffered a broken ankle and chipped teeth. Long slid down to get Landress and called 911.

"While they had me on hold, I was just trying to get Jason to become conscious and to stay awake," he said.

Authorities said the group was walking in a restricted area, but Long said it wasn't marked.

"There wasn't anything painted on the rock saying this is dangerous," he said. "It looked more dangerous on the walk up the trail than it did at this spot."

Landress' father told Channel 2 Action News that some questioned why the group was in a dangerous position, but he said they weren't looking for trouble.

"They're not "thrill-seekers," said Jericho Landress. "They're not wild. They're actually quite the opposite."

Landress, a high school senior, is expected to miss several weeks of school, but his father said a family friend who is a teacher will help him keep up with his studies. A dentist has volunteered to fix Landress' teeth.

Stone Mountain Park Police plan to inspect the accident site and make sure warning signs are in place. They will also consider adding more painted signs on the rock.

Channel 2 Action News

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