Woman recovering after falling down cliff near Tarentum

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A woman was seriously injured Sunday when she tumbled between 60 and 80 feet down a cliff along Route 28 in East Deer.

KDKA-TV identified the woman as Joanna Brake, 19. UPMC Presbyterian has a patient by that name listed in fair condition today, a spokesman said.

Brad James, a deputy fire chief of the nearby Eureka fire and rescue department, said the woman was “semi-conscious and semi-alert” shortly before she was flown by medical helicopter to the hospital after the incident.

The woman and others were driving a Jeep-style four-wheel-drive vehicle in an unofficial recreational area when she apparently became separated from the group, Deputy Chief James said. Shortly after 7 p.m., a passing driver noticed something tumbling down the hillside above Route 28 southbound and called 911.

"It very easily could have been much more serious if not ... even a negative outcome," the deputy chief said.

Police told the fire and rescue department that the woman had a history of seizures. How she strayed from the group and what precipitated the fall weren't immediately clear.

East Deer police, who are leading the investigation, didn't immediately return a message this morning.

Molly Born: mborn@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1944 or on Twitter @molly_born. First Published April 7, 2014 6:58 AM

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