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Firefighters Rescue Child Over Hillside In Wash. Co.

(Photo Credit: Wayne E. Ray)

(Photo Credit: Wayne E. Ray)

Mary Robb Jackson Mary Robb Jackson
Mary Robb Jackson joined KDKA-TV as a general assignment reporter in...
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FALLOWFIELD TOWNSHIP (KDKA) – When school starts later this month, a little boy will have quite a story about what he did on his summer vacation.

He can tell his classmates that he hung on for dear life after he fell over a steep hillside.

The boy was playing in his backyard in Fallowfield Township when he slipped down the hill and had to be rescued by firefighters.

The boy held on for 15 minutes before crews arrived at the scene.

Danny Gust, 6, hit a badminton birdie over the edge of a cliff in the backyard.

“I tried to get it. I slipped because it [sank me],”Danny said.

Mulch gave way and Danny slid 20 feet down the embankment. He was hanging on to what he described as jagger bushes for dear life.

Hearing his screams, his mother came running.

“I was so scared. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t get to him and I just called 911,” Danny’s mom, Erica, said.

Danny’s legs were dangling over another 25-foot drop to the railroad tracks below.

Fallowfield Assistant Fire Chief Andy Popelas was eating lunch with his wife less than a mile away and quickly responded to the scene.

“I was just hoping to get below him in case he did let go to break his fall,” Popelas said.

Scrambling to reach Danny, Andy reached up.

“Once I put my arms to see if I could reach him, he sort of just let go because he was happy to see me,” Popelas said. “He was fine. No injuries, a couple scratches and he was really scared.”

“He’s nice and helpful,” Danny said. “I’m not going to go by the hill ever again.”

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