April 04, 2020

Dover-Foxcroft girl survives 25-foot fall onto frozen river

DOVER-FOXCROFT – A 9-year-old girl sledding with a friend during Wednesday’s snowfall sailed over a 25-foot rocky embankment and landed on the edge of the frozen Piscataquis River.

Landing with one foot on a rock and the other on the ice, Allison Wright may have blacked out for a moment.

When she came to, she said in an interview, she could hear the ice cracking around her.

“I thought I was going to fall in,” she said.

Wright was taken by ambulance to Mayo Regional Hospital, where she was treated for bumps and bruises. Then she was released.

“That was a nice Valentine’s Day gift, that she was OK,” her mother, Andrea Wright, said Wednesday. “I was just so happy to see her and I said, ‘I love You.'”

Since school was canceled because of the storm, Allison, a second-grader at Morton Avenue Elementary School, decided to spend some time sliding at a friend’s house on River Street.

“I was sliding, trying to have a race to see who could go the farthest,” she said, adding that she never intended to go as far as the river.

“Nobody could beat me.”

The next thing she knew, she was falling feet first, her body banging into the rocky outcropping on her way to the river below.

Sgt. Dave Wilson of the Dover-Foxcroft Police Department, who arrived first, said he had to search for a safe spot from which to descend to reach the girl. After carefully edging his way toward Allison, he told her who he was and that he would help her.

“He asked me my name and I told him, and he told me his name and stuff,” Allison recalled.

Wilson said he lifted her into his arms and carried her downstream across the edge of the river where Dover-Foxcroft firefighters and Mayo Regional ambulance personnel were waiting to assist.

The youngster was placed on a litter and hoisted by ropes up the embankment.

“She was very lucky,” Wilson said Wednesday.

Allison said she was going to “pray to thank God” tonight, but added that she no longer likes Valentine’s Day.

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