Image 1 of 5
Kern County Sheriff's Helicopter Unit 5 comes in to land on Cuddy Valley Road, carrying injured dirt bike rider David Mitchell, 47 of Fresno. Mercy Air waits below, as traffic is blocked off in both directions at about 2:50 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12. [Mountain Enterprise photo]
Image 2 of 5
David Mitchell, 47 is transferred by American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance paramedics and Kern County Fire Department personnel from KCSO helicopter 5 to waiting Mercy Air in the middle of Cuddy Valley Road at about 3 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 12.
Image 3 of 5
Donny Chavez, 25 of Frazier Park alerted firefighters Captain Mark Phillips and Engineer Nick LaCount to the accident on Salt Creek Trail. He points to the helicopter comng in with his friend, David Mitchell of Fresno. Donny is wearing Mitchell's protective gear and rode his friend's dirt bike (above) out from the accident scene after Mitchell was airlifted toward medical care.
Image 4 of 5
Kern County Fire Department Battalion Chief John Peterson of Mettler's Station 55 coordinates roadblock and medical evacuation to Kern Medical Center for injured dirt bker David Mitchell on Sunday, Sept. 12 at about 3: 25 p.m. [photo by The Mountain Enterprise ]
Image 5 of 5
Eastbound motorists on Cuddy Valley Road got out of their cars to wait at U.S. Forest Service roadblock of Cuddy Valley Road on Sunday, Sept. 12 as medevac between two helicopters was coordinated. The helicopters departed by about 3:30 p.m. and traffic was allowed to continue. [Photo by The Mountain Enterprise]
Reported by Patric Hedlund
CUDDY VALLEY (Sunday, Sept. 12, 2010, 3:40 p.m.)—A dirt biker from Fresno, David Mitchell, 47, was taken to Kern Medical Center this afternoon by Mercy Air out of Mojave, after being transferred from Kern County Sheriff’s helicopter 5. Kern County Fire Department No. 57 was alerted by Donny Chavez, 25 of Frazier Park, that there had been an accident about three miles from the Tecuya Mountain trailhead, up Salt Creek Trail in Cuddy Valley. Mitchell slipped on a very rocky trail, Chavez said. The accident occurred at about 12:30 p.m.
The riders thought Mitchell had sustained an injury to his shoulder. He was wearing comprehensive protective gear, including helmet, knee guards and kidney guard Chavez said. "He was conscious, but had trouble breathing…." They decided he would be unable to ride out himself. So Chavez rode to Station 57 for help. Because of the terrain, it was impossible for firefigher EMT’s to approach closer than a half mile to Mitchell’s location. Captain Mark Phillips decided Mitchell should be taken out on a helicopter hoist, Phillips and Engineer Nick LaCount reported. When Mitchell was laid flat, he was having a hard time breathng, which indicated there might have been a back injury, responders said.
At about 3 p.m. Matt Prossard of the U.S. Forest Service, with Patrols 71 and 75, coordinated a roadblock of both eastbound and westbound lanes of Cuddy Valley Road, on both sides of the Tecuya Mountain trailhead. Traffic was held back for about 30 minutes while Mercy Air and Kern County Sheriff’s Helicopter 5 both landed in the road. AMR ambulance paramedics from Gorman thransferred Mitchell to Mercy Air’s helicopter.
Photos will be uploaded momentarily.
This is part of the September 10, 2010 online edition of The Mountain Enterprise.
Have an opinion on this matter? We'd like to hear from you.