Life Flight transports 26-year-old woman following crash on Bear Claw Poppy; family of 4 stranded

Bear Claw Poppy Trailhead, St. George, Utah, April 22, 2019 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

SANTA CLARA — Washington County Sheriff Search and Rescue responded to two calls Saturday, starting with an accident that happened on the Bear Claw Poppy trail just off Navajo Road.

An Intermountain Life Flight crew searches for a man who got lost hiking in the Pine Valley area, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 18, 2017 | Photo courtesy Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Washington County Sheriff Search and Rescue Liaison Darrell Cashin told St. George News that at approximately 12:55 p.m., a man called into dispatch to report that his wife had crashed on her mountain bike and needed help.

The search and rescue team and Gold Cross Ambulance were dispatched to the scene.

“She went head-over and pretty much her head and face took the brunt of the impact,” Cashin said. “It caused her some severe upper back pain.”

The woman was on a side trail, a little way up a canyon, and was coming down a hill to a dip. She hit the dip, the bike took the impact, and she went over and landed headfirst in hard dirt and rock, Cashin said.

After assessing the woman’s injuries, responders called Intermountain Life Flight for transport.

Had Life Flight not been able to come out, the search and rescue team would have had to carry her out on an ATV, which is risky in the case of back and neck injuries due to the rugged terrain.

“You can’t take a lot of jarring in case there’s some major injury in there,” Cashin said. “She was having severe pain in her mid to upper back. She was having severe pain in her jaw. She had some difficulty breathing and said her head was like a 9 out of 10 in pain.”

After the woman refused the flight because she didn’t want to pay for it. Life Flight transported the woman to the trailhead, and then Gold Cross Ambulance transported the woman to Dixie Regional Medical Center.

Life Flight only charges if they transport a patient to the hospital, Cashin said. He added that he is grateful for the incredible work they do and the service they provide for the community.

“Where she was at, that would have been about a two-hour carry, just to get her back to the ambulance,” he said, “and time is not your friend when someone’s injured like that.”

This is the third time this week that Life Flight has responded to assist search and rescue on an incident and the second patient they’ve flown back to a trailhead, Cashin said.

Later Saturday evening, just before 10 p.m., the search and rescue team responded to another call of a family of four – a husband, wife and two teenage daughters with a dog – that had been hiking Red Mountain trail when it got dark. They lost their way and became stranded, Cashin said.

The search and rescue responders were sent to hike the area toward the GPS coordinates.

“We sent up our drone, located them, and just had them stay put,” he said.

Responders found them and hiked them off the mountain. No injuries were reported.

“They were fine,” he said, “just couldn’t get down, couldn’t find a way down. From the time we got the call to the time we got done was about three hours.”

With so many people out and about, Cashin said he expected to stay busy.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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