UPDATE: 70-year-old Pecatonica woman recovering after falling about 50 feet near Grand Canyon

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PECATONICA, Ill. (WIFR) -- Gail Peterson's family calls her Superwoman.

"I'm using up my nine lives," she says. "I have to quit doing that."

The Pecatonica grandmother has faced several serious battles in her life: shingles, breast cancer and now, a nearly 50-foot fall at the Grand Canyon West.

"I don't have any major injuries so I was very lucky."

Peterson was taking a picture on a family vacation to the Skywalk. That's a bridge at the Grand Canyon West which is just outside the main canyon. That's when she says she tripped on a rock, falling head first into a hole.

With every breathe she took, Peterson sank further and further. She says she never panicked once.

"When I first got down there I heard a voice say you're going to be okay," she says. "Whether it was an angel or God or whatever and I totally was peaceful."

Peterson also became friends with a complete stranger who stayed with her for three hours until help arrived.

"She was my lifeline to the real world."

As a result of the fall, Peterson had several cuts, scrapes and bruises and a slight brain bleed but no broken bones. Now, she's on the road to recovery and poking a little fun at herself.

"I'm planning more vacations," Peterson says. "I'll definitely watch where I'm walking next time.

Peterson tells us the happiest moment of her ordeal was coming home to a house full of family and friends who were glad to see she was okay.

The only thing her family wants now is to reach out to the man who rescued her and thank him.


GRAND CANYON, Ariz. (WIFR) – A 70-year-old Pecatonica woman is okay after falling about 50 feet into a deep crack near Grand Canyon West.

Mohave County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue units were deployed to the scene early Tuesday afternoon. Authorities say the woman, identified as Gail Peterson, wedged herself during the fall which prevented her from dropping to the bottom, however every time she would take a deep breath, she would fall a few inches.

A rope system was set up and a member with the rescue crew was lowered to help Peterson. Peterson was then secured to the rope and lifted to safety.

The Sheriff’s Office says Peterson had several cuts and bruises and was then airlifted to a Las Vegas hospital.

As of Thursday, officials say Peterson was listed in good condition.