UMATILLA COUNTY — Umatilla County Sheriff's Office rescued a man injured in a snowmobile crash in a remote area on Sunday, Jan. 10.
According to a news release from the sheriff's office, dispatch received a 911 call at about 1 p.m. reporting a snowmobiler had been injured during a crash on U.S. Forest Service 31 Road about 1 mile north of Ruckel Junction. Deputy Rowan Hayes responded and discovered a 56-year-old male had been thrown from his snowmobile, which had landed on top of him after he tried to navigate an embankment.
"The patient was experiencing significant pain in his chest and left side, causing concerns with moving him," the release stated. "Deputy Hayes and other snowmobilers on scene covered the patient with rescue tarps and blankets to maintain body temperature."
Because ambulances were only able to get within 9 miles of the crash site, Life Flight and search and rescue teams from Union and Umatilla counties assisted with the evacuation.
Life Flight landed its helicopter on Ruckel Ridge east of the crash site, and Union County Search and Rescue and other snowmobilers transported Life Flight personnel and equipment to the crash site to treat the patient. Members of the Umatilla County Search and Rescue loaded the patient onto their utility terrain vehicle and transported him to the helicopter, which flew him to a hospital in Walla Walla, Washington, at about 4 p.m.