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Teen who fell into Gulf in critical condition


By:  Star Beacon - Shelley Terry

ASHTABULA ó A teen-ager who tripped and fell 150 feet onto a large rock in the Ashtabula Gulf on Wednesday evening was in critical condition Thursday at Huron Hospital in Cleveland, authorities said.

Douglas Brummett, 17, of Ashtabula, suffered a broken neck, a severed ear, a brain injury, and injuries to his hip and a leg, according to a family friend.

Ashtabula firefighters and police were called to the east end of the Spring Street Bridge at 6:07 p.m. on the report of a person fallen into the Gulf.

Upon arrival two minutes later, the fire departmentís rescue crew rigged a rope and pulley system to the base of the bridge to haul the teen-ager to safety. At first, Brummett was conscious, but his orientation diminished quickly, and he became combative and could not remember what had happened, according to the firefightersí report. He kept trying to move and stand up, and the medics were not able to treat him to the extent they wanted to, according to the fire departmentís report.

Brummettís father, Jerry Brummett, arrived on the scene and helped calm his son down, the report said.

Community Care Ambulance advised Ashtabula County Medical Center emergency room officials to notify an air ambulance for a transport, the report said. Douglas Brummett was taken to ACMC by ambulance and then was transported by medical helicopter to Huron Road Hospital in Cleveland, where he underwent surgery Thursday morning, according to a family friend.

The rescue took about 40 minutes, and the six on-duty firefighters were clear of the scene in just about an hour.

Several witnesses on the scene commended the firefighters for their quick and efficient rescue.

ďThey did a fantastic job,Ē said John Ginnard, owner of e-Comm Cafe on Main Avenue. This was the Ashtabula Fire Departmentís second response to the Ashtabula Gulf this week, as firefighters on Tuesday morning recovered the body of Sean Reichert, 32, of Bridgeview Manor, 4428 Collins Blvd., from the west side of the Spring Street Bridge. Reichert had been reported missing 12 hours earlier.

Reichert was trying to recover his bicycle, when he apparently fell off the cliff and hit his head, killing him, according to Richard Mongell, an investigator with the Ashtabula County Coronerís Office. City police found Reichertís bicycle near his body.

Ashtabula Fire Capt. Jeff Gianantonio reminds residents that the Ashtabula Gulf is not safe: The sides are just too steep, the ground too slippery, and itís easy to fall.

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