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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Sunday February 5th, 2017 :: 10:04 a.m. PST


News Story Search and Rescue

Nature of Incident: Mutual Aid / Ice Rescue
Report Number: 17-16855
Location: Angeles Crest Highway
Date & Time: 02/04/2017 @ 10:30 am
Unit(s) Responsible: East Valley Search and Rescue,  Sheriff’s Communication Center, LASD Montrose Search and Rescue, LASD Air Rescue 5, Los Angeles County Fire Air Operations
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

Male (deceased)
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
Los Angeles
On February 4, 2017, members of the East Valley Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team were conducting annual snow and ice training approximately thirty-five miles north of La Canada Flintridge on the Angeles Crest Highway.  At about 10:30 am, they were contacted by a good samaritan who informed them five hikers had fallen down an ice chute approximately two miles north of their current location.  The team quickly responded to the intersection of Highway 2 and Highway 39 to begin rescue efforts.
The team contacted the Sheriff’s Communication Center in Ventura, via satellite phone and informed them of the injured hikers.  The Sheriff’s Communication Center then contacted the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department and requested additional resources including Air Rescue 5 and the Montrose Search and Rescue Team.  The East Valley Search and Rescue team quickly deployed fifteen rescuers on foot to locate the injured hikers. 
The injured hikers were located approximately three hundred feet down an icy slope, approximately one mile north of the starting point.  The elevation was approximately 7000 feet with a 70 degree incline.  Rescue rope systems were implemented and rescuers made contact with injured hikers.  One hiker had minor injuries and two were seriously hurt, all were suffering from shock and hypothermia. 
The three injured hikers were treated by search and rescue team members from the East Valley Search and Rescue team and members of the Montrose Search and Rescue team who had also responded.  The victims were stabilized and a helicopter hoist operation ensued.  Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Air Rescue 5 and the Los Angeles County Fire Department hoisted the three victims off the icy slope.  They were transported by the air ships to local hospitals.  A fourth victim was located but had succumbed to his injuries prior to rescuers arriving.  The fifth victim, was able to walk out with search and rescue members with only minor injuries.
The Ventura County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind all outdoor enthusiasts to be careful when traversing the beautiful Southern California wilderness; especially the snow.  Areas of snow can quickly form to ice in the sun and can become slippery and dangerous.  Improper equipment, unfamiliarity with the area, and hiking beyond your skill set, can quickly lead to dangerous conditions.  In addition, remember to file a hiking plan or let someone, not in your party, know where you are going and when you plan on returning.
Prepared by: Deputy Chris Dyer (805) 535-0270  
News Release Date: 02/04/2017  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Deputy Chris Dyer (805) 535-0270
East Valley Search and Rescue Team Liaison
Approved by:
Captain Romano Bassi

Ventura County Sheriff's Office
800 S Victoria Ave
Ventura, CA 93003

Emergency: 9-1-1
Non-emergencies: 805-654-9511

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