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Ventura County Sheriff's Office
Monday August 16th, 2021 :: 04:10 p.m. PDT


News Story - Off-Highway Vehicle Rescue

Nature of Incident: Off-Highway Vehicle Rescue
Incident Number:
Los Padres National Forest – Sunset Campground
Unit(s) Responsible:
Lockwood Valley Sheriff’s Station
(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence

(P) Adult Male
(P) Adult Female
(P) Adult Male
Canoga Park, CA
San Bernardino, CA
Issaquah, WA
Narrative:   On Saturday 8/14/21, at about 7:31 PM, the Lockwood Valley Sheriff’s Station received a 911 call transferred from CHP Los Angeles reference a group of stranded motorists on the off-highway vehicle (OHV) trails near Sunset Campground.  Sunset Campground is a remote campground in northern Ventura County about ten miles south of Lockwood Valley Road at the northern base of Alamo Mountain adjacent to Piru Creek.  Sunset Campground is accessible by experienced dirt bike riders and 4x4 vehicles equipped with significant clearance and appropriate tires.  The stranded motorists reported that they had driven from Alamo Mountain down the Miller Jeep Trail and their vehicles were unable to drive back up the Miller Jeep Trail or the Lockwood Trail leading to Lockwood Valley Road. 
The Lockwood Valley Sheriff’s Station is outfitted with a Polaris RZR four-seat utility-task vehicle (UTV).  A Lockwood Valley resident deputy utilized the Sheriff’s RZR to drive to Sunset Campground via the Lockwood Trail to the Miller Jeep Trail.  At about 9:00 PM, the stranded motorists were located.  The three motorists and their dog were safely driven out of the area in the RZR.    
The Miller Jeep Trail and Lockwood Trail are rated as most difficult for off-highway vehicles.  There are signs posted on most of the trail systems in the Los Padres National Forest including these trails.  As such, it is imperative to recognize the trails difficulty ratings with respect to the abilities of your vehicle and your abilities as its operator before proceeding into any off-highway vehicle areas.  When driving in the national forest and wildlands, it is imperative that it is done so safely and responsibly. 
Many of the hazards and risks associated with OHV recreation in these remote areas can be mitigated by proper planning and preparation.  At a minimum, it is imperative to be familiar with the area you are driving in, have a map, know the limitations of your vehicle and driving ability, have sufficient food and water, and ensure someone who is not with the group knows the details of your trip and when to report you as overdue.
Please drive responsibly for your safety and the safety of our first responders.      
Prepared by: Deputy Sam Moss  
News Release Date: 8/16/21  
Media Follow-Up Contact: Deputy Sam Moss (661) 245-3829  
Approved by: Captain J. Rivera  

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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