Hiker falls off trail, spends night stuck on steep hill

A 46-year-old hiker slipped off a trail at Nyack Beach State Park in Rockland County and fell about 60 to 70 feet on Tuesday, authorities said. He spent the night clinging to life until a runner heard his screams for help on Wednesday morning.

"I heard somebody screaming like 'Help,'" said Elyse Vandorpe, who had just started her run around 8 a.m. when she heard a very faint voice coming from the heavily wooded area above. She tried yelling up the mountain to try to communicate with the hiker and then ran back to get a park ranger.  

Within minutes, Clarkstown Police, the Nyack Fire Department and its high-angle rescue team were on the scene. Detective Norman Peters said they put a drone in the air to get a better view. Then EMS made contact with the trapped hiker. 

The man on the cliff was Mandeep Tiwana of Nyack. Rescuers pulled him to safety in about two hours. 

"He was about 60 or 70 feet down from a trail, at least a 45-degree slope," Nyack Fire Captain Bob Vancura said. "So we had to go in, stabilize him."

Police said Tiwana left his home on Monday at 1:30 p.m. but never returned. His wife reported him missing hours later. She had no idea he went for a hike. 

Vancura said Tiwana lived some terrifying moments as he was stranded overnight with temperatures falling below the freezing mark. 

"He had some abrasions from the fall but mainly what was going on was dehydration and hypothermia from being out here all night," Vancura said.

Tiwana was taken to the hospital and is expected to be OK.