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Search & Rescue

Failure to Follow Rescue Instructions Leads to Victim Injuries

March 17, 2016

LYTLE CREEK, Calif – On Tuesday, March 15, San Bernardino Sheriff’s patrol helicopter was dispatched to a search and rescue near Bonita Falls in the Lytle Creek area. The helicopter arrived on scene at approximately 10:38 p.m., and quickly located the uninjured victim stuck on a steep canyon near the falls at approximately 3700 foot elevation.

The patrol helicopter was not capable of conducting the hoist and so advised the victim (Christian Sanchez, age 27, of Fontana) over the helicopter’s loudspeaker to stay where he was and a rescue helicopter would be back to get him.

The crew then flew back to San Bernardino Airport to combine with an additional flight crew in the Sheriff’s Rescue helicopter and returned to the scene and found that the victim had moved. It took several minutes of searching before the crew located the victim who had fallen 50-100 feet from where he had been and suffered severe injuries. Sanchez was unresponsive and wedged into a narrow steep canyon.

A rescue team member was hoisted down 170 feet to Sanchez where he was put into a special hoist suit.  Sanchez and the rescue team member were then hoisted up together into the helicopter. Sanchez was taken to a nearby ranger station and picked up an AMR paramedics and was then flown in stable condition to Arrowhead Regional Medical Center for additional medical treatment.

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