NEWFANE, N.Y. (WIVB) - A Newfane grandmother underwent a harrowing ordeal that left her hanging on for dear life.
Beverly Blewett was raking leaves Thursday afternoon in her backyard when she slipped. It would have been tough for a young person, but it was even more difficult for an 86-year-old woman who nearly fell to her death.
"I was right here. And I guess it was slippery. My feet just went out from under me," Blewett recounted.
She tumbled 30-feet over a steep bank behind her home. The retired physical education teacher tried over and over to climb back up, but couldn't get any traction.
PHOTO GALLERY | See photos from the scene of the incident
"I couldn't get any footing. I just hung there and yelled for help. Just hanging on the tree with both hands," she said.
With all her strength, Blewett held on to a tree limb until a neighbor heard her yelling for help.
Niagara County Sheriff's Captain Scott Lombardo and U.S. Border Patrol Agent Sal Caccamo were working a Homeland Security detail when the call came in.
"When I got there...pretty much the hair was standing on the back of my neck," Caccamo said.
Both men managed to secure Blewett with a rope until additional help arrived.
"That terrain, when you go down there... I even tried to lower myself a little bit just to see if I could get down there. I couldn't even try it because in didn't want two people needing to be rescued," Caccamo said.
Thanks to quick work and Blewett's instincts to grab on a tree limb, she survived a potentially fatal fall into 18-mile Creek.
Blewett says being active her whole life likely helped her a lot in staying alive. Despite a few bruises and some shoulder pain, she is okay.
Her close friend Linda Johnson rushed over as soon as she heard what happened.
Johnson said, "She got so excited and she goes, 'Linda, could you have them go back down and find my glasses?' I said, 'No!' [laughs] That was her only concern. Not: 'Am I hurt,' [but] 'I can't find my glasses.'"
Blewett was flown by Mercy Flight to ECMC after she was rescued. She was checked out and then released.
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