Waco mom chronicles son’s miraculous rescue and survival after falling 300 feet off cliff in Colorado

Published: Jun. 9, 2023 at 9:45 PM CDT
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WACO, Texas (KWTX) - A Waco family is holding their son extra close tonight after a hiking accident in Colorado that could have claimed his life.

No matter how old your kids get, this is a parent’s worst nightmare. Angie Baccus was at her Waco home, more than 800 miles away, when she got a call that her 32-year-old son had fallen 300 feet off a cliff at Judd Falls in Crested Butte.

Angie remembers getting the call, and with the poor cell service it was hard to hear, and she only needed to hear two words to know something was wrong.

“All I heard was Brandon and Judd Falls and I knew he had fallen,” Angie recalls while fighting tears.

Brandon was with his girlfriend hiking Judd Falls, a trail he had grown up exploring, when a boulder underneath him gave out.

“He’d only taken a few steps when he lost his footing and he grabbed a really big boulder,” Angie says.

Angie says Brandon recalls having a split second to make a choice: either go down with the boulder or jump back, so he jumped back.

“He does remember looking up while he was tumbling, and he saw the boulder coming towards him and it hit him in the back of the head and neck,” Angie says.

At the bottom, he landed in a river with a steady stream.

“The water probably saved his life because he landed in water and not on rocks,” Angie says.

He was pushed down stream, where even in insurmountable pain, he acted on his one opportunity to help save himself.

“There’s just one area on that bank where you can get out of the water,” Angie says.

And that is where he laid until help arrived, “It probably took an hour to an hour and a half to get to him, and three hours to get him up,” Angie says.

When emergency personnel arrived, it was all hands on deck. A pulley system with a basket got him out of the valley, an ATV drove him to a helicopter and the helicopter flew him to the hospital. While it’s a miracle he is still alive and not paralyzed, Brandon still has a lot to overcome.

“His right shoulder was dislocated, he’s probably going to need surgery on his shoulder and right hand. His left elbow was dislocated, and broke, it was pretty much demolished,” Angie explains.

Brandon has quite the road ahead of him. He has several injuries but through all of this he is still able to remember a lot of what happened that day. But he has already started to try walking again and is hoping to be home to Texas in the coming days to start physical therapy.

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