Friends of Devil's Marbleyard Hiker Say He's Lucky To Be Alive

Rockbridge Co, VA - Friends of a hiker who fell and was knocked unconscious Saturday at Devil's Marbleyard say he is lucky to be alive.

Chad Jarrett, 26, was scaling the rocks with his friends just before noon Saturday.

Jarrett got tired and decided to take an easier way to the top.

What happened next, though, has his friends counting their blessings.

At 9 a.m. five friends began hiking the trails at Devil's Marbleyard in Rockbridge County.

DJ Jones, Chad Jarrett and three others were about half way through their climb when Jarrett decided to take a different route.

"We were like calling out making sure he was ok every so often. The last thing we said to him was we're almost there, meet us at the top," said fellow hiker DJ Jones.

After reaching the top normally the celebration of their journey, the group realized something wasn't right.

Jarrett was nowhere to be found.

"We walked down where he was, and couldn't find him and we looked all over the place for him," Jones said.

The group, fearing the worst, called for help.

Robert Foresman, The Emergency Management Coordinator for Rockbridge County, was one of the first to respond.

"We didn't know exactly where he was, we had a general idea of where he would be, but his friends could not pinpoint the exact location," Foresman explained.

With the search entering its third hour and darkness creeping in, Jones wondered if he would ever see his friend again.

"At one point they came over and told us that it wasn't looking good, those words are some words people never want to hear," Jones said.

Finally came a glimmer of hope.

"Another hiker had found him and actually he was moaning for help," said Foresman.

Jarrett had fallen nearly 40 feet into a hole, and lost consciousness. When he came to, the injured hiker was still a long ways from safety.

"It was very dangerous carrying him down this very narrow trail," Foresman said.

Shortly before midnight Sunday, the ordeal was over.

Nearly 15 hours later, Jarrett and his friends could breathe a sigh of relief.

"He's really lucky, but you know i don't really believe in luck, i believe that honestly God was watching after Chad," said Jones.

Jarrett is currently being treated at Roanoke Carilion Memorial Hospital. Friends say he had no broken bones from his fall, and he's in good condition.

Jarrett's friends also say their faith is really what has helped pull them through this.