Officials still unclear how teen was stranded on Tucumcari Mountain

Emergency personnel and police officials still have few answers to the circumstances which led to 14-year-old Alex Jauck having to be rescued from Tucumcari Mountain.

Scott Jaynes, emergency manager with the city of Tucumcari said they received a call from dispatch around 10 a.m. Monday morning regarding Jauck being stranded on the side of the mountain.

Jaynes said that he and Brenda Rivale, Emergency Medical Services director, went to the mountain to assess the situation. He said around 11:30 a.m., he had dispatched fire and rescue and an ambulance to the scene.

Ed Shipley said he and Kalon Lafferty, are both certified in rescue rappeling. He said that they looked over the scene from where the boy was at and also from down below him to figure out the best way for them to set up to rappel down to the boy.

Shipley said that on the ground down below the boy were a burned T-shirt and a partially burned army jacket. He said he didn't know if the boy had burned his shirt for warmth or if he was trying to signal for help.

Shipley said he rappeled off the mountain to get down to the boy while Lafferty was down below spotting him for safety. He said he has had eight years of experience in this type of situation.

Shipley said he had to rappel more than 300 feet to get to Jauck, and asked him if he was hurt . He said Jauck complained of a head and ankle injury.

"I asked him "How did you get here?" Shipley said. "He replied 'I fell.'"

Shipley said it was teamwork between all the agencies involved which made the rescue successful.

Jaynes said once Jauck was brought down, he was very scared though he was breathing all right. He said that Jauck has a history of asthma and was given breathing treatments.

Jaynes said Jauck was secured into rescue sled and it took eight people to carry him the rest of the way down the mountain to the ambulance where he was then transported to Dan C. Trigg Memorial Hospital for treatment.

Jauck has since been released.

Lt. Lance Bateman of the New Mexico State Police was the incident commander for this rescue. He said that a bicyclist was the person to spot Jauck on the side of the Mountain.

Bateman said the bicyclist is from California and was in Tucumcari visiting family. Bateman said he told the bicyclist he could go on with his day and he responded he was going to stay until the boy was down.

Bateman said the bicyclist even helped to carry Jauck the rest of the way down the mountain.

After the rescue, state police officers were unable to locate the boy who had called about his friend being stranded on the mountain.

Attempts by the Quay County Sun to locate and speak with Jauck and his parents have been unsuccessful.

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