A California Highway Patrol helicopter crew aided in the rescue of three people Thursday morning after their small utility vehicle rolled down an embankment along the American Canyon Trail near the El Dorado County community of Cool.
As crew members of CHP Helicopter 20 – Officer Bryan Souza, pilot, and Officer Matt Calcutt, flight officer and paramedic – were flying over the Folsom Lake area about 9:30 a.m., they monitored a call reported a utility that a utility vehicle had gone over the side of a canyon and people were injured.
It was reported that trail maintenance personnel were riding in the utility vehicle along the trail when it rolled over, down a 40-foot embankment, ejecting all the occupants. A 60-year-old woman from Loomis, who was among the passengers, was injured but was able to crawl back up the trail and hike out until she received a cell signal to call 911, according to a news release from the CHP’s Valley Division Air Operations.
The helicopter crew learned that the location was on the American Canyon Trail near the Auburn Lake Trails community in Cool. The helicopter arrived at the scene in minutes. Due to heavy foliage, the helicopter crew members were unable to see the victims, but they were able to direct ground crews to the area based on the reported distance from the trail head and information that the vehicle overturned in a creek.
Ground crews found the vehicle’s occupants and asked that the helicopter remain on scene for hoist operations due to the steep and rugged terrain. It was determined that the woman who reported the accident needed to be flown to the hospital. CHP officials said ground crews “packaged” her in a Bauman bag and prepared her for a hoist.
The helicopter hoisted her from the scene and transported her to Greenwood Helispot, where she was transferred to the care of a CalStar helicopter crew due to fuel constraints, CHP officials said. She was flown to Sutter Roseville Medical Center for treatment.
The two other people were taken from the area by rescue personnel on the ground.