Off-Road Biker with Broken Leg

April 22, 2023
Thomas Mountain, Garner Valley

Written by: Richard Yocum

On 4/22/2023 James Eckhardt and I were out with RSO Aviation Unit’s Rescue 9 helicopter, practicing hoist lowers and a “two-up” over the upper Skyline Trail, and doing reconnaissance of trail conditions of various areas, including Skyline Trail, San Jacinto Peak, Tahquitz Peak, and the PCT along the Desert Divide.

At about 2:40 pm, Rescue 9 was called to assist a subject with a broken leg in the vicinity of Thomas Mountain in Garner Valley. A decision was made to return to Hemet-Ryan Air Base to refuel and drop off James and have me stay on board as (a physician) backup for the rescue. We left Hemet-Ryan at 3:02 pm.

On the Thomas Mountain Road coursing along the Thomas Mountain ridgeline and not far from Tool Box Spring, we sighted two off-road motorcycles parked in the road. A CHP unit was on scene and three Fire vehicles were very slowly making their way up the curvy dirt road to the scene. The Rescue 9 medic lowered to the scene found a middle-aged man with a left leg break above the ankle already having been splinted by CHP. The patient was stabilized and packaged in a Screamer Suit, and then hoisted with the medic in a two-up back to Rescue 9.

Although having received some medication on the ground, our patient was in considerable pain, especially with any movement. We flew to an LZ near the Paradise Valley Café and transferred our patient to a ground ambulance before returning to Hemet-Ryan at 4:12 pm.

RMRU Members Involved: (Richard Yocum)

Other Units Involved: (Riverside County Sheriff’s (CERT, Aviation, Rescue 9), Cal Fire, CHP)