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Published: Sunday, 7/24/2005

Critically injured man lay in dirt for hours

A Bedford Township man lay seriously injured for at least 10 hours near a Sylvania Township quarry until he was found yesterday by a fossil hunter.

Mark Horton, 20, of 809 West Dean Rd., who apparently was thrown from an all-terrain vehicle sometime Friday, was discovered about 9 a.m. after the fossil hunter, Robert Heinish, of Strongsville, Ohio, heard Mr. Horton's moans. Mr. Heinish immediately called for help.

Mr. Horton, who had multiple head injuries and was unable to talk, was flown by helicopter to Medical University of Ohio Medical Center, said Sgt. Thomas DeYoung of the Sylvania Township Police Department.

The hospital declined to release any information about Mr. Horton, but police said he was admitted in critical condition and that he underwent surgery yesterday afternoon.

It is unknown exactly how long Mr. Horton lay in the dirt near Sylvania and Centennial roads where he had been riding, which is about a mile south of Fossil Park, Sergeant DeYoung said.

"He had to be there at least 10 hours, probably longer," Sergeant DeYoung said, citing estimates that rescuers made based on blood stains and the injuries.

Police recovered the damaged all-terrain vehicle as well as the pickup truck that was used to transport the ATV. The pickup was recovered along Brint Lane and verified by relatives as the truck Mr. Horton drove, the sergeant said.

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