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CHP helicopter hoists injured Citrus Heights mountain biker from Placer County trail

Published: Wednesday, Jun. 18, 2014 - 7:01 pm

A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew hoisted a Citrus Heights mountain biker to safety Wednesday morning after he was injured on a Placer County trail.

Michael Gnafakis, 42, was riding his mountain bike on the Upper Lake Clementine Trail when he crashed and was injured, according to a CHP news release. He used his cellphone to call 911, and the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection Dispatch Center asked CHP Air Operations to assist in the search for Gnafakis.

A CHP helicopter and airplane responded form Auburn Airport, spotted Gnafakis within about 15 minutes and directed CalFire personnel to his location. CalFire determined that he needed to be hoisted due to the remote location and his injuries.

The helicopter hoisted Gnafakis and transported him to a landing zone. He was then flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment.

CHP officials noted that Gnafakis’ injuries would have been much worse had he not been wearing a helmet, and having a cellphone was key to a rapid rescue response. They stressed the importance of carrying a cellphone, particularly when riding alone.

The CHP provided a video of the helicopter rescue.


Call The Bee’s Cathy Locke, (916) 321-5287.

Read more articles by Cathy Locke



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