GILA COUNTY, Ariz. — Strangers rescued a Valley man hiking with his baby after he lost his footing and fell off the edge of a cliff at the Tonto Natural Bridge State Park. Now his family is searching for the people credited with saving their lives.
Trisha-Lynn Handy watched in disbelief as her quality time with her family on Sunday turned into a frightening ordeal.
“I thought they were gone. The moment they fell and they were going down I knew they couldn’t stop them,” said Handy.
Her boyfriend, Leroy Sanders, was carrying their 7-month-old baby girl when he lost his footing.
“I just saw them disappearing,” said Handy.
Baby Lillian was still strapped to the front of his cradle when she fell.
“He’s grabbing at everything trying to stop and there wasn’t much. Everything just kept falling out of his hands and I watched her head bouncing,” said Handy.
Sanders said by the time he stopped he was about 25 feet down and able to see the edge of the cliff from a distance. That’s when baby Lillian began to slip out of the carrier.
“He just kept saying, 'Get the baby, get the baby, get the baby,'” said Handy.
Three other hikers passing by formed a human chain to get to him.
“The guy was holding the belt and he was like throwing it down to Leroy and he finally caught it,” said Handy.
Sanders passed the baby up the human chain before they helped him up.
Lillian made it out with minor bruises and Sanders took the brunt of the fall to protect her. He is heavily scraped.
“It was [a] relief because my protector the person that protects me and loves me and us was there who loves me,” said Handy.
Now they want a chance to say thank you to the kind people that stepped in to help.
“There are no words to convey how grateful I am they are literally my daughter and boyfriend’s saving grace,” said Handy.
Now, Handy and Sanders are trying desperately to find the people that saved them Sunday so they can thank them in person.
If you know who that is, please reach out to us. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. This family would love to hear from you.