AUSTIN (KXAN) - Despite heroic efforts by rescuers on the ground and in the air Thursday evening, they could not save him.
Alex Henry-Ballew, an 18-year-old McCallum High School senior, fell about 20 feet along the Barton Creek Greenbelt trail around 7 p.m. and suffered severe head trauma.
Rescuers quickly called in the chopper.
"Access to him was very difficult, it would have taken too much time," said STARFlight's Chris Postiglioni. "They made the decision on the ground it would be quicker to extract him via hoist and get him to the hospital as quickly as possible."
The teenager was pronounced dead at University Medical Center-Brackenridge.
The Barton Creek Greenbelt is a popular place, but it does have it's hazards and bikers and hikers know to be alert.
"I have precautions in mind, the rocks, the decline of the ground," said hiker Grace Saenz. "It's not just for playing."
She added she always takes a cell phone.
"We're always pretty cautious," said hiker Mike Czuchry. "If we're riding bikes, we wear helmets. We take water."
EMS says spring and summer are their busiest months, and coordination with the air is essential.
"It's a team effort," Postiglioni said. "When they deem that speed and our resources are needed, we can get the patient out quickly and to a hospital in minutes."
Often that saves a life. Often, but not always.
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