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ATV operator rescued from ravine near New Era Field

An all-terrain vehicle operator was rescued from a heavily wooded ravine along the south branch of Smokes Creek after Buffalo Bills security guards at New Era Field heard him yelling for help about 7 p.m. Tuesday, the Orchard Park Police Department reported.

Police said they found John Nietopski, 59, stuck under a fallen tree 20 to 30 feet down a steep muddy embankment. Officers reported that Nietopski was wet, muddy, disoriented and too weak to free himself. Rescue personnel from the Windom and Orchard Park Fire Departments helped police bring him to safety through a quarter mile of dense woods, steep terrain and the creek.

Police said Nietopski was examined by emergency medical workers and released with only minor scratches on his head and face. Officers said he and a neighbor from nearby California Road were riding on four-wheelers when he became lost in the woods and fell into the ravine. Police noted that "there was alcohol involvement which added to the problems in this situation."

Police noted that Nietopski was lucky security guards heard his cries, saying the incident occurred in the same area where a young man drowned after a Buffalo Bills night game a few years ago.

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