Two Wyoming Students Attacked by Bear; Life-Flighted to Billings
One of my greatest fears ever is to be attacked by a bear while I'm out on a hike or just enjoying the wilderness. Over the weekend, that exact fear came true for two students from Northwest College (NWC) in Powell, Wyoming who went on a hike outside of Cody. An unprovoked grizzly bear attack left both seriously injured and both were life-flighted to a hospital in Billings.
Both Students are Members of the NWC Wrestling Team
According to Northwest College Athletic Director Brian Erickson in an article from Cowboy State Daily, NWC students Kendell Cummings and Brady Lowry had traveled from Powell to their hiking location with two other students after wrestling practice. However, after the group had been hiking for a little while, they became separated. While trying to climb down the mountain they were hiking, the attack occurred.
Erickson stated that the students were then suddenly attacked by a grizzly bear with no warning or provocation. Both students were severely wounded by the bear but were able to make it back to their vehicle on their own before seeking medical assistance. They were equipped with bear spray, but because of the sudden nature of the attack, they were both unable to deploy it.
NWC President Lisa Watson Released a Statement
Both students were life-flighted to St. Vincent Healthcare in Billings, where both students had "multiple surgeries" according to Cowboy State Daily. In a statement from Northwest College, President Lisa Watson mentioned that without "quick thinking and no small amount of bravery," lives would have been lost. Both Cummings and Lowry are expected to recover.
These college sophomores have lived a nightmare that I couldn't imagine being a part of. Here's hoping for their speedy recovery. Northwest College is expected to release a statement in the coming days with information on how you can assist these students in their recovery. This article will be updated with that information when it becomes available.