20-Year-Old Woman Rescued At West End Overlook

ELLIOT (KDKA) — Emergency crews rescued a woman at the West End Overlook Wednesday evening.

Kristi Demel, 20, of Brentwood, was taken to UPMC Mercy Hospital in stable condition.

She and two friends were walking on the hillside, just below the Overlook, when they went past a three-foot high railing. She lost her grip, slipped and fell vertically off a rock, landing on a ledge, about 20 feet below her.

“She was conscious and alert and it appeared she had a fractured leg and possibly a foot injury,” EMS Division Chief Robert Farrow said.

It took just over an hour and 15 minutes for paramedics to rescue Demel after they reached her. First, they climbed down a ladder and gave her pain medication.

They then placed her on a board and in a stokes basket to prevent further injury. She was finally lifted to safety just before 6 p.m.

“She was given some pain medication, gave that some time to work so we could move her without her being in any real distress; placed her in a stokes basket, moved her horizontal across the hillside,” said Farrow. “She’s pretty lucky. Fortunately, she fell 15 feet, there’s areas up here where you could fall a good 50, 60 feet.”

One of the friends she was with, Paul Hagerich, also of Brentwood, told KDKA TV: “We were just looking at the view. We wanted to stand on a rock … and she fell.”

Pittsburgh Emergency Medical Services
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  • chrisp

    When you don’t follow the simpilist rules then stupidity happens!

  • Mary

    Now she’ll either sue the city, or cry to the news when she’s cited for trespassing, as she should be.

    • niki

      the fence is not a metal barricade… it’s open on one side so it kinda calls people to the rocks….. there are no trespassing signs posted, and the fence is open so she shouldn’t be cited for trespassing… every one growin up by the overlook has sat or stood on those rocks, it’s actually really peaceful sitting on them. i’m just glad she’s ok!

      • Mary

        Fence, barricade, call it what you want. It’s pretty obvious where you’re supposed to stand and where you’re not supposed to stand. Several years ago a few drunk guys decided to climb the hill after realizing they’d missed the last car & the incline had closed for the night. He was charged with trespassing since the rescuers were put at risk. http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/cityregion/s_543858.html

      • anon

        Yeah, that guy was DRUNK and trying to climb down it. This poor girl had no intentions on falling or climbing anywhere. She probably just wanted to see the view like may other people have at the same spot. Doesn’t everyone realize that she and that man are not in the same category?

    • Don

      Sadly you’re probably right. The correct ending would be that she has to pay the costs for her rescue. It’s a shame we can’t tax stupidity.

      • Annie

        What next?….posting signs…”Falling from rocks may kill you.”…

      • anon

        You have no right to say what she should or should not pay. For saying things like this maybe you should have to pay for this. It would have been a different story if that would have been you, right?
        Its a shame we have people like you in the world.

        Shes not stupid, just clumsy. Let the girl be.

    • Kristi

      Why would I sue the city? Its my own mistake and why should i be cited for trespassing if theres no sign that indicates otherwise? I’m paying more than enough in pain…but it actually hurts more to have to read what inconsiderate people like you have to say about me.

      • anon

        Jeanie, I didn’t jump over any fence. Maybe if YOU had a sign of intelligence maybe you would know that you can simply walk around the fence. I guess no one taught you the golden rule. “Treat others the way you want to be treated,” cause you obviously have no manors WHAT SO EVER. Did you want me to die too? Would you be happier if i did? Thats what it sounds like to me.

        I know that the fence is there to save you from the rocks, I completely understand that. However, I am not the only person to have ever sit on those rocks before. I might have been the only one to SLIP off of them, but i did not do it intentionally.
        I made an illogical decision. I really don’t care if you don’t go places you shouldn’t. Which is most likely a lie, are you telling me you’ve never done anything you shouldn’t? Everyone has.

        How do you know that it couldn’t have happened to you? Your not a psychic. You could fall anywhere and break the same bones like i did. It doesn’t matter where someone falls. It can happen, ITS CALLED AN ACCIDENT.

        And another thing, why would I want YOUR pity? — I could really care less what you think since you obviously really don’t have the slightest bit of compassion for others. You don’t matter to me or to anyone else for that matter. I know your allowed to speak your opinions or whatever but just tell them to someone who cares cause I don’t anymore.

      • Jeanie DeNuzzio

        Anon, no I’m not 50 But I”m not 20 either …. the fact that she choose to climb over the fence that is there to PROTECT her from the rocks shows a lacks of intelligence. REGARDLESS of her age. It wouldn’t have happen to me, why you ask? Because I don’t go where I”m not suppose to be! But I know, there wasn’t a sign to tell her no to climb the fence… so we all should be “awe, poor thing”. That I can’t because she is 20 not 5!

      • anon

        Please Tell me Jeanie… if you were in this situation would you feel the same? i know what you would say i would never let something that stupid happen BLAH BLAH BLAH. Shes twenty years old for god sake, not 50 like you probably are. Let her make her own mistakes and learn from them without inconsiderate people like you saying things that most likely will hurt her. I’m pretty sure she feels awful to start with.

        SO your saying that every accident that needs a rescue team doesn’t involve a lack of judgement? ITS CALLED AN ACCIDENT. I’m sure your so perfect and you’ve never had a lack of judgment. GET OFF YOUR HIGH HORSE. Everyone makes mistakes, even you.

        Oh and please tell me that you don’t have kids… because having a mother like you I would be completely ashamed. You have no compassion for others what-so-ever.

      • Ryan

        You people really believe this is actually the girl? wow.

      • jenn

        Kristi, get better girl, accidents happen, as Jesus said in the Gospels, let the first one who has not sinned cast the first stone….. they all walked away. You are alive for a reason, and thank the Lord for saving your life. We all do things in our life that are not smart…. but we also learn from them. You made a mistake and you paid for it. Take care and ignore the haters.

      • Jeanie DeNuzzio

        TO AMY! Her “excuse is because there is NO SIGN! Anyone with an IQ over 60 can tell the fence is there to keep people on ONE SIDE OF IT!! She put rescue workers at risk for being DUMB! And in her own words “BECAUSE THERE WAS NO SIGN” Which means she lacks common sense . I stand by what I said. Was it suppose to be mean? YES!! So that maybe others would think before being so stupid!!!

      • Thomas J Duttine

        I have to commend you. You made a mistake and aren’t blaming someone else. Everyone make mistakes. You are only stupid if you don’t learn from them!

      • Amy

        this is to that jeanie girl,,,you have NO reason to say that to her! I’ve been living up here for all my life and i’ve been on those rocks before they can be very slippery! and to say for her not to bring a child into this world is just plain right rude. she has as much of a right to be on those rocks as you do to breathe. so if you’re going to unsult a girl like that for an ACCIDENT then don’t.

      • Jeanie DeNuzzio

        Perhaps because you think you have to have a sign to warn you against your worst enemy, you? You could have been killed. If you would have, I have no doubt your family would have sued the city. There isn’t a sign telling you not to jump out into moving traffic, do you do that too? The railing is there for a reason. So now a beautiful place where people get photos will have to get ugly signs because of people like you. Who gets to pay all the emergency response teams that were there because of your lack of judgment? Forgetting the fact that they were put at risk because you feel it was ok to be there because of “no sign”. That logic makes no sense. In that case, there wasn’t a sign telling you that you could either! Please tell me you are on birth control and that yo don’t bring a child into “your” world until you get your head out of the clouds.

  • David Roth

    So why is there no video on this story?

  • Mark DeNuzzio

    Niki, you and this woman are the reasons they have to put “DO NOT USE IN THE SHOWER” on electric toasters.

    • Jan


    • Kristi

      Since when are you not supposed to take an electric toaster in to the shower?

      • anon

        People like you should be ashamed. Joking about things like this isn’t FUNNY. Kristi
        really did not say that.

        If you were in her situation I’m sure your hurtful sense of humor would completely change.


    • Jayd

      So true!

  • niki

    the city needs to close off the end thats open so you can’t go around and walk 10 ft to the rocks. there are a lot of young kids who sit and stand on those rocks. we’re in the west end so why spend money on 15ft more of a fence. the city made sure mt. washington was safe, not us. our neighborhoods on the west side of the city are always neglected, that fence should not have been.
    mark, i’m not that stupid. i’m sure you’ve wanted to do things before that most people would not do. think about hiking and finding a waterfall or a stream below you, there are lots of rocks and you normally do sit or stand on them to take it in, same difference. i would never place a radio at the edge of my bath tub while i shower, now, sitting on a rock thats big and sturdy to take in a view or just have a peaceful moment, yes i would do that… i’m sure most people would and have.

  • JOSH


  • tax payer

    maybe you and half of the others in elliott should donate some of your section 8 checks to put the fence up

    • jenn

      Hey I am from Elliott and I work and have a good job, so does my son and we have a nice house, not everyone is Section 8 in Elliott. There are still a lot of good families that stayed there.

  • Christine

    “@MaryFence, barricade, call it what you want. It’s pretty obvious where you’re supposed to stand and where you’re not supposed to stand. Several years ago a few drunk guys decided to climb the hill after realizing they’d missed the last car & the incline had closed for the night. He was charged with trespassing since the rescuers were put at risk.”

    The West End Overlook is in WEST END, This is not the same place where where the incline is llocated

    • Mary

      Thanks for the geography lesson, but I already knew that. I was using it as an example. Obviously you didn’t catch that.

  • "falling over the rocks"

    Maybe the city should put up signs with pictures of fpeople falling.It seems like there are too many illiterate people who aspire to be mountain climbers ..
    Maybe falling down the rocks will fix stupid.
    I like the idea of section 8 people contributing to put up a higher fence…maybe they can help install it too..that is if they know what side of the fence to stand on

    • anon

      Wow, you should feel ashamed of yourself. Joking about others misfortunes inst right. How would you feel if you were in this situation?
      .and Who said she was trying to climb the rocks? your the illiterate one, get your facts straight before you call anyone stupid.

  • Bea

    She was probably on her phone or texting when she went to far. Nothing stops the people doing that, they just keep going with their heads down, in the phone. When I see them coming I don’t move out of the way, I just stop, & they run right into me! Seems none of her friends managed to fall over the hill. So where were her eyes.

    • Kristi

      I’m glad to inform you that, no in fact i was not on my cell phone. Where were my eyes you ask? They were pretty much focused on the life that flashed before my eyes. Maybe one day you’ll understand how i felt, and how I’m feeling now.

  • Joe Orbovich

    The West End Overlook is located in ELLIOTT… And there is no way to close off the end… I grew up there… We used to cut through a path under the rocks to get there… ANd when all else fails… Flip over the 4.5 foot fence and your on the rocks!

    • jenn

      I used to climb down on those rocks, back in the day…. also there was never a fence there when I was growing up…. Fourth of July we would all head up there and sit on the edge of the hillside and wait for the fireworks to begin.

  • Ian

    We should just send EMS, fire, rescue etc to attend to people who seem to have gotten hurt by being in the right place at the wrong time…..
    uhhhh… what.

  • Alysha

    theres a fence but it’s not very hard to walk around it. I go up there all the time cause my family lives up that, i grew up there and i always sat on the rocks and i still do. But if i am going up to sit on the rocks then i am very careful. I know the place and i know how everything is. This girl was just really dumb because she tried to jump to the next rock in flip flops and missed. It’s nobody else’s fault except hers. And don’t talk about the people who live up there like that, because my family is white and very hard workers and probably have more money that a lot of you. they are trying to fix the neighborhood up. So obviously you don’t know what your talking about so don’t talk.



  • tax payer

    your not the only one who grew up in elliott beleive me,
    also beleive me when i say you will be the next one they have to carry back up the hill
    and if you read my last statement it said most people not all sre on section 8

    • Alysha

      I’m pretty sure they aren’t going to have to, when I go down there, I go down when it’s not raining and I just go sit on a rock, I do t go jumping around on the rocks, I am careful. If you go down there you just have to be safe and not dumb. I’ve been down there for many years and I know what it’s like.

      • Alysha


  • Anon

    There is absolutely no reason to be rude. This is one of my best friends, so try to be a little more empathetic to the people who actually know her, and her family. She’s not “stupid” by any means. It’s offensive to me to have to read the cmments made by people criticizing this girl for having an accident. As previously stated, most people enjoy a scenic view on a nice day. Not all people are professional mountain climbers so this is the result. It was an accident, I’m just so grateful that she is OKAY. Ever think of that? The comments on this are gross and I’m sure they would be hurtful towards her. This just teaches a lesson that we need to be more careful sometimes and be more aware of our surroundings.

    • Anon

      We didn’t realize that she accidentally went around a barrier that was set up to warn people of the dangers of going around it. Seems rather intentional.

      • anon

        Intentional? So any fence/barrier in general is used to warn people? All of them?
        I’m sure Kristi knows what she did was wrong by WALKING AROUND THE BARRIER. However, why would any person want to harm themselves and put others in danger intentionally? Shes paying for her mistakes so just leave her alone.

  • Anon

    P.s. she’s a pretty responsible girl, she’s not going to try to take advantage of the city and the tax payers, God forbid. She’s a tax payer too, we’re all the same. It’s okay to set your ego aside for a second.

    • Anon

      > responsible

      Like not going around a barrier?

      Yes, we’ve all made mistakes. And when the mistakes are stupid, they are what they are. Just because we’ve all made mistakes doesn’t make them any more stupid.

  • Alicia

    A “pretty responsible girl” wouldn’t break rules and walk around a fence and get themselves into a situation like she did. She could have DIED and for what??? Common sense(which sadly isn’t as common as we’d like it to be) would tell someone not to go on the other side of the fence…hell I think my SIX year old would even grasp that concept. It’s a good thing this young lady didn’t lose her life, she needs to stop making stupid choices

    • A

      I kind of agree with you. I don’t think the problem is going around the fence. If you just sit down and relax and you don’t goof off, which most of the people do that grew up there do, you would be fine. If you go around the fence you just sit down and not goof off, your fine. The problem was that she did goof off, she jumped from rock to rock. When there’s a cliff right by you, you don’t do that.

      • Jan

        The problem is “going around the fence.” The fence is there because beyond that then any ‘stupid’ action can lead to this. And if someone is going to show bad judgement by going around the fence then it’s not surprising that they’ll make more bad judgements. If a fence is put up for this reason, then it’s not up to the individual to decide that it’s okay to trespass. The fact that this rescue had to happen is proof why people should not go around the fence. Yes, your point is that most that go around the fence don’t do something even more stupid that makes them fall. But 100% of the people who don’t go around the fence never fall…


      WHAT RULES DID SHE BREAK? AND SO WHAT? People make stupid choices everyday… like for instance you having children was a pretty stupid choice, eh? DONT CRITICIZE UNLESS YOU CANT HANDLE IT.

  • niki

    I work and pay taxes… I also do not get anything from the state. Take ur crude remarks and find somebody that doesn’t pay taxes and boo hoo to them

  • tax payer

    niki single mom i bet ………….. nevermind
    anyways yinz stupid people who think that by sitting on the rock instead of jumping on it that its any safer then why dont the city put the fence around the rock so you can stand on it……….. let me tell you those rocks are the same type of rocks that constantly fall on route 28……… one year they are solid and safe the next year they are rollin across 28 stuff like that isnt safe standing sitting or jumping

    • Wow...

      I don’t agree with niki but that remark was just rude. Everyday there is somebody on those rocks. They fall not because of the rocks but because she was jumping. A few years ago there wasn’t a fence, they put it up because they redid the overlook, nothing special happened to put them up and it was never considered that dangerous, if it was then there would be a better fence and the cops would kick people out of there which they don’t. You don’t see the overlook everyday, so you don’t know what’s really going on up there.

    • niki

      Tax payer- Woman hater, i bet!
      I am a single mother of a wonderful soon to be 5yr old daughter… just because i didn’t marry the man I had a child with doesn’t make me a bad or STUPID person. LIKE I SAID, I work, pay taxes and am a single mother who does not get help from the state, and i’m proud of that… i vote and care about the community i’ve lived in for over 20years. Me being a single mother has nothing to do with the fact that I love OUR overlook and lots of people sit on those rocks. So sorry you just can’t grasp that! So please put ur wife beater on and grab ur beer and fall asleep on ur recliner and please stop with your remarks. I’ve gone to that overlook for over 20years and those rocks havent moved an inch… actually where she fell isn’t ever where i’m talking about, she hopped the fence where there is a drop. any who, I thank God she’s ok, and you should as well!

      • anon

        There was no fence hopping involved, you can walk right around it.

  • tax payer

    wow there has been a fence for as long as i can remember….. niki i am proud of you also. not that you need my approval but who cares….but i am interested to know if your one of these fine people of our city that had a child when they were 15 …..16 maybe that will help me put a face on your name humor me a little please. and i guess because i dissagree with you i beat my wife and drink beer? makes sense to me when did you graduate from langley just curious

    • niki

      tax payer i wasnt 15 or 16. me giving birth to a child has nothing to do with anything i’m saying any way. yes there are a lot of people that have kids too young but a lot of them are productive members of society. when you’re that young it doesnt make you a bad person or mother. its all about the sacrifices us woman make to take care of our children after we see we cant stay with the father because its not healthy to do so for the child or if we are very young. it takes a lot and since you are a man you really don’t understand what woman face having a child and raising it alone. i’m not saying because you disagree with me that you need to put ur beater on and grab a beer, it was a joke, because you kinda were like LET ME GUESS UR A SINGLE MOTHER… yes i am, whats your point? it has nothing to do with anything that happened up there. oh and the fence they replaced it when they redid the overlook. its better than the old one.

    • StacyJ

      What does that matter? Obviously you are one of those uneducated people that cannot read. She told you to go put on your wife beater. Not go beat your wife. You are no better than her or anyone else on here. You need to get over yourself! Bigtime! Just because a 20yr old girl made a mistake….Seriously…I’m sure you’ve never done anything reckless in your life.

  • UM Yea

    just one question, why is this news? well anyway glad shes ok .

  • Ridiculous

    This story is just a shame. I am happy she is okay, but it climbing over a fence to get a better view worth a life. She was lucky she got out with a few broken bones, there are places on that hill they would have been hauling up a dead body…all because she was too “responsible” (as was previously stated) to follow simple no trespassing signs. Whether the fence was there for as long as Pittsburgh has had an adaquate population or not, the fence IS there for a reason. That reason is so people dont fall to their untimely deaths daily. She clearly was not a rock climber and therefore should not have been hopping along pretending to be, balanced precariously on the side of a cliff! She does deserved to be charged with trespassing and even putting the rescuers lives in peril. After all I do not believe this was an “accident.” Accidental would mean the fence giving out as she was leaning on it. Slipping and falling while rock hopping on the wrong side of a barrier with signs stating no trespassing is no accident.

    • anon


    • StacyJ

      Get over yourself! It is the exact definition of the word. And here…I’ll even help you out with that sence you claim to know what an accident means. accident – An unexpected and undesirable event, especially one resulting in damage or harm… How about educating yourself!

      • agree with redic

        This is no accident. This is an act against better judgment or common sense as its ‘commonly’ known. Most all accidents just happen, a freak of nature event and cannot be helped. THIS however could have been prevented if she would have stayed on the pavement where even if u slip you get a hurt ass not fall 20 feet.

  • raul

    cute toes.

  • get a grip

    OMG you people are rediculous, It was a friggin freak accident and now the young lady is suffering the consequences of her actions. when the young lady fell up in McConnells Mills and a man died trying to rescue her, i did not hear of the bitter comments. She too “broke” the rules. Go up to the overlook on a day there is fireworks. there are hundreds of people sitting on those rocks and the ploice are generally standing near by

    • Alysha

      I so agree with you, this never happens, in all the years, this happened once because she was jumping the rocks. Fireworks day people are all down there and cops don’t say anything, when the cops are there on a regular day and people are down there, they never say anything, as long as people are sitting and not fooling around.

      • anon


    • get a grip

      police even. dont blame me for the site constantly jumping before you can finish a thought.

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