Authorities from multiple agencies helped rescue Dakota Middle Tent from Falling Rock in Rapid City, South Dakota, on August 16, 2020. Photo: Pennington County Search and Rescue
Falling off Falling Rock
Wednesday, September 16, 2020
Middle Tent falls more than 100 feet and survives
Native Sun News Today Staff Writer

RAPID CITY – Dakota Middle Tent’s family was relieved when they saw him in the emergency room at Monument Health with only a few broken bones.

On August 16 he had fallen over 100 feet from the top of Falling Rock, a popular hiking area near Rapid City that has claimed many lives. The multiple-hour rescue was covered by many news sources and a video of him falling can be found on Facebook.

“I was just glad to see that he was still responsive,” said Carrie Middle Tent, Dakota’s aunt. “He was moving and in lots of pain, but thank god that only two broken legs and one broken vertebrae was it. He didn’t get any kind of damage to his head and he didn’t get any cuts or splits.”

Male with broken bones rescued from Falling Rock Sunday evening. Pennington County 911, Pennington County Sheriff’s…

Posted by Pennington County Sheriff's Office on Sunday, August 16, 2020

Dakota (Crow Creek Sioux) was down climbing one of the cliffs at Falling Rock when he lost his footing which sent him tumbling down the shear rock face. “I felt something was wrong,” he said. “I just accepted the fall because there is nothing you can do after that. I thought I broke my teeth and my nose. I didn’t know my leg was broken until I put pressure on it and my ankle went sideways.”

To fall over 100 feet and survive to tell the story is a rarity, especially from a place such as Falling Rock. The hiking area has been the center of controversy since many people have died there. “Normally when someone falls from Falling Rock they don’t make it, but this guy,” said Mahto Black Bear while looking at his cousin, “it’s crazy to survive that.”

At 7:00pm Sunday night, 911 Dispatch received a report of a male teen who had fallen from a ledge at Falling Rock on…

Posted by Pennington County Search and Rescue on Monday, August 17, 2020

When Dakota had settled from his fall and waited for the search and rescue crews, he heard a Native couple who began singing and praying for him. Dakota knew that the couple was there, but he did not know who they were. Contact was made with the couple after everything was said and done, but now the contact information is lost. Blossom Eare, Dakota’s grandmother, would like to talk to and be able to thank this couple.

Dakota also had a vision when he began to fall. He saw his grandfather, who has passed away, and his niece, who is still alive.


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