Teens recover after fall from Stone Mountain



STONE MOUNTAIN, Ga. - Two teens were injured during a hike at Stone Mountain Park on Tuesday.

Police said they were in a restricted area. It happened on the back side of the mountain in an area called the Bird Sanctuary. News Chopper 2 flew over the area as emergency crews transported the victims around lunchtime.

"It's restricted because it's dangerous and if you don't know what you're doing, if you're not trained in this particular area of the mountain, then you need to stay away from it. This goes to show you why it's restricted," Stone Mountain Park police spokesman John Bankhead said.

Investigators said the teens, ages 17 and 18, slid down a pipe and tumbled down the mountain.

Family members identified the 18-year-old as Jason Landress, and the 17-year-old as Sean Garber.

Bankhead said a man was on a hike with his 12-year-old son and the two teens when they wandered into the area.

There are supposed to be signs restricting the public to the fenced off area, but Landress' father said he was told the signs had been removed.

"They started up the mountain, didn't notice any signs about the restricted area and came off the back side of the mountain, where they're not supposed to be," Bankhead said.

"The other father, Bill, he spoke to somebody at the park and they said somebody removed the signs and failed to put the signs back, so it wasn't posted for nobody to be there," said Jericho Landress, Jason's father.

Bankhead said the teens fell several hundred feet. The adult with the group told the 12-year-old to stay put, and he called 911, Bankhead said.

"One of the kids saw this pipe and decided to go down it for some reason, started to slide but couldn't stop. The second kid, the older kid, went after him, and that's when the problems happened with those two," Bankhead said.

"The other boy grabbed him and when he grabbed him they both went down. They slid 30 feet, fell straight down another 15 feet, then slid another 30 feet to the bottom," Jerry Landress said.

Landress' parents told Channel 2's Mike Petchenik that Jason was at Stone Mountain hiking with his youth pastor and a friend.

"Jerry and I were one of the first ones to see him. And when you first looked at him, I was very grateful because there were not too many lacerations on his face. But besides both jaws being broken and the bruise on his brain, and his lungs are bruised, he going to also see a plastic surgeon," said Ange Landress, Jason's stepmother.

His parents told Petchenik that Jason was conscious and alert when the saw him and is expected to spend the night in the intensive care unit at the hospital.

The parents said they believe God got them out of the situation alive.

"We believe God has his hand over them and helped them down that mountain," Jerry Landress said.

Channel 2 Action News

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