UCLA Hiking Club members rescued from icy conditions in Angeles National Forest

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ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A sheriff’s search and rescue team found and rescued eight members of UCLA’s Hiking Club early Sunday who had become lost and mildly hypothermic while hiking deep in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said.
Twelve students were hiking Saturday near Throop Peak, at an elevation of more than 8,000 feet, when eight of the hikers became lost, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said. The other five members managed to find their own way out of the forest.
Search an rescue teams from the San Dimas, Crescenta Valley and Palmdale sheriff’s stations responded to a 9-1-1 call about 6 p.m. Saturday reporting the eight missing hikers, sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
Rescuers plunged into thigh-deep snow drifts as they searched for the missing hikers, officials said.
Members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team, based out of the sheriff’s Crescenta Valley Station, found the missing group about 12:30 a.m. Sunday.
“The students were elated to see the rescue team, some being mildly hypothermic,” according to the statement. “None of the students required medical attention, and were taken back to their cars.”
Rescuers secured the hikers with harnesses and ropes as they escorted them from the forest to prevent them from falling down the icy slopes, officials added.
According to the statement, “It took rescuers six hours to hike out the students due to the treacherous conditions.”

PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department

 

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Good Samaritan, police rescue five people from fiery South Pasadena crash; driver suspected of DUI

SOUTH PASADENA >> A good Samaritan and police pulled five people from an overturned, burning car early Sunday following an alleged DUI crash at Fair Oaks Avenue and Huntington Drive, authorities said.
The crash took place just before 2 a.m., South Pasadena police Sgt. Brian Solinsky said.
A 21-year-old Glendora woman was driving a 2012 Mazda sedan south on Fair Oaks Avenue at high speed when she lost control while trying to make a left turn onto Huntington Drive, Solinsky said.
“The car struck a center median and then a mailbox and fire hydrant on the south sidewalk of Huntington, shearing off the hydrant,” police said in a written statement. “The car just missed hitting a tree, struck a sign and wall, flipped over and landed on its roof.”
“Four adult females, including the driver, were able to crawl from the wreckage with the help of passersby after one of the female passengers kicked out a window,” according to the statement.
But a man who had been knocked unconscious in the crash was still inside when police arrived on scene, Solinsky said. The car was rapidly becoming engulfed in flames.
Officers smashed a window with a baton and pulled the unconscious man to safety, Solinsky said.
By the time the fire was extinguished,the car was “torched,” Solinksy said, adding that he doubted anyone left inside the burning car could have survived.
The driver and four passengers were all taken to a hospital for treatment, the sergeant said.
The driver, a 21-year-old Glendora woman whose name was not available Sunday, suffered injuries described as moderate, Solinsky said. They appeared to include injuries to her head and face.
The woman had not been formally arrested Sunday afternoon due to her injuries, but was expected to face a felony drunken driving case, Solinsky said.
The four passengers, residents of Glendora and Azusa who were also in their early-20s, suffered injuries described by police as minor.

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UPDATED: Driver rescued from electrified minivan after crashing into utility pole in Montebello

MONTEBELLO >> Rescuers freed a 68-year-old man from his minivan Thursday after he became trapped by high-voltage power lines when his vehicle struck a utility pole, authorities said.
The incident, which began with the crash about 7 p.m. on Beverly Boulevard, just east of Poplar Avenue, resulted in no injuries, Montebello Fire Department Capt. Fernando Pelaez said. With 16,000-volt power lines sparking and arcing all over the crash scene, the situation could have been much worse, he said.
The solo-vehicle crash sent power lines down onto the street and over the minivan, the captain said.
Firefighters arrived on scene and warned passers-by to stay away from the lines, as well as metallic items such as fences and lampposts that were electrified by them.
They also told the driver of the minivan to stay inside until Southern California Edison officials could shut down the power, which took about 45 minutes, Pelaez said. Had he stepped out prior, “He definitely would have gotten electrocuted.”
The sheared power pole also supported an electrical transformer, officials said.
Rescuers tried to keep the driver calm until the power was ultimately cut off to the wires, officials said. Firefighters then managed to free him from the crashed minivan.
The driver, a doctor, did not appear injured and declined to be taken to a hospital, Pelaez said.
The intersection of Beverly Boulevard and Poplar Avenue was expected to remain closed into Friday morning as utility crews repaired the damage.
About 5,000 SCE customers initially lost power as a result of the crash, Montebello police Lt. Kelly Gordon said. By 10:45 p.m., about 500 SCE customer remained without electrical service.
No crime was initially suspected in connection with the crash, which was being investigated as an accident, Gordon said.

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VIDEO: Hikers rescued via helicopter from Switzer Falls mountain ridge


ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> A sheriff’s helicopter crew hoisted three stranded hikers and their dog to safety Saturday after they became trapped on a mountain ridge north of La Canada Flintridge, officials said.
The rescue took place about 12:45 p.m. near the Bear Canyon Campground in the Switzer Falls portion of the forest.
The hikers, two men, a woman and a dog, went off a trail, became disoriented and ended up stuck on a mountain top, unable to get back down, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said in a written statement.
“One hiker was able to make a cell phone call to contact the local sheriff’s station, Crescenta Valley Station, and requested help.
A sheriff’s department helicopter responded and hoisted all three people and their dog into the aircraft before flying them to safety, officials said. They were not hurt.

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El Monte police officer uses CPR to help save man’s life… again

For the second time in two years, an El Monte police officer is credited with resuscitating a pulseless man with CPR earlier this week, officials said.
The incident unfolded about 8:30 a.m. Tuesday as a woman was driving her 37-year-old husband to a hospital as he was suffering chest pains, El Monte police Sgt. Roger Cobian said. The wife pulled over and called 9-1-1 for help after her husband lost consciousness.
Officer Hector Hernandez arrived first at the scene at Peck Road and Ranchito Street, Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez saw the subject was unconscious and immediately checked his pulse but did not feel one. Officer Hernandez climbed inside the vehicle and began CPR,” Cobian said.
“Officer Hernandez administered CPR, including rescue breathing, until emergency medical personnel arrived.”
The man was taken to an area hospital, where he was listed in stable condition in an intensive care unit, police said.
“The nurse advised (that) the man’s family was extremely grateful for Officer Hernandez’s actions,” Cobian added.
The same officer used CPR to rescue another man on Dec. 27, 2012.
While at his local gym, Hernandez saw a man collapse from a heart attack, officials said. Hernandez performed CPR until paramedics arrived.
“The man recovered and is alive today as a result of Officer Hernandez actions,” Cobian said.

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Three fall into flood control channel at Pasadena’s Rose Bowl following USC vs. UCLA football game

PASADENA >> Firefighters rescued three football fans late Saturday after they tumbled into a dry flood-control channel in the parking lot of the Rose Bowl just after the USC vs. UCLA game, officials said.
The two women and one man, who estimated to be in their 20s, suffered “minor to moderate” injuries in the mishap, which took place about 9:15 p.m. in parking lot 7 of the stadium, 1001 Rose Bowl Drive, Pasadena Fire Department spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said.
The three had just left the stadium, where UCLA defeated rival USC 38-20 in an anticipated game that came to an end shortly before 8:30 p.m.
They had been walking along the channel when they slipped and fell in, tumbling about 20 feet down a steep slope into the concrete channel, officials said.
Paramedics took the two women and man to an area hospital for treatment.

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Closure at 2nd waterfall of Eaton Canyon begins Friday

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST — In an effort to curb all-to-common rescue calls at a popular recreation site in the Angeles National Forest, officials have announced the Eaton Canyon Upper Falls will be off-limits starting Friday.
The 84-acre closure is planned to stem the dozens of annual mishaps, some of them fatal, on the slippery and treacherous terrain near the second waterfall in Eaton Canyon, U.S. Forest Service officials said in a written statement.
“The user-created trail to the lower waterfalls is not the dangerous portion,” the statement said. “It is the area around the second waterfall that is creating the increase in rescues and deaths.”
Officials have handled 60 rescues near the second waterfall in 2012 alone, and five deaths have been reported there since 2011.
“In particular, hikers ignore warning signs and climb the canyon’s crumbling walls in search of the second waterfall, enticed by social media videos that encourage and challenge people to risk their own lives and those of emergency responders,” according to the USFS statement.
The closure area, “has been kept to an absolute minimum in hopes of changing the behavior of those who ignore the warning signs and continue to place themselves and emergency responders in danger,” according to the USFS.
Additionally, officials plan to continue their public awareness campaign regarding the dangers at the second waterfall of Eaton Canyon and enforce the closure.
Those found violating the closure may be receive a $5,000 fine, up to six months in jail, or both.

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Rare summer beach lightning strikes 9 in L.A. County

Venice
VENICE – Nine people were hurt, and at least one needed CPR, as an unusual summer beach lightning storm spread danger from Catalina Island to the shores of Santa Monica Bay on Sunday.
Witnesses said the Coast Guard was helping search the popular beach, as at least one person believed to be in the water was still unaccounted for two hours after the thunderstorm moved through. And photos of a stricken diver being worked on by paramedics on the beach surfaced on social media.
City fire paramedics set up a triage and treatment center on the crowded beach near Washington Boulevard, and one patient was rushed to the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center.
Two of the victims were critically hurt, city fire spokeswoman Katherine Mann said. The other eight had lesser injuries, with one hospitalized for panic.
Eight adults and a 15-year-old youth were hurt on the beach, but reports of a swimmer hurt in the water and picked up by a Baywatch boat were struck down by the county fire department. County Baywatch crews were on scene, but it was not immediately clear if they treated anyone.
- City News Service

PHOTO courtesy of @Venice311

… FULL STORY

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Man struck by lighting, brush fires ignited, flooding reported as monsoonal storm drenches Catalina Island

A 57-year-old man suffered injuries described as minor when he was struck by lighting on the Catalina Island Golf Course, Los Angeles County Fire Department Capt. Dave Gillotte said.
“He took an indirect hit,” the captain said. Lighting struck near the man at the Catalina Island Golf Course, travelled down a fence and shocked the man, knocking him off his feet.
Los Angeles County and Avalon fire officials treated the man for minor injuries, “primarily injuries from the fall,” Gillotte said. The man was taken to a hospital for further evaluation.
“We had a monsoonal type storm come through fast and furious, landing for about an hour and a half,” he said. The heaviest rain and lightning took place over a period of 35 to 45 minutes.
“Lighting strikes were initially cloud-to-cloud, with heavy monsoonal rain, and eventually went cloud-to-ground with thick, heavy bolts.”
The heavy storm also caused flooding and ignited at least four small brush fires on the island, Gillotte said. The fires never grew beyond a fraction of an acre before they were doused by firefighters and Catalina Conservancy Rangers, or self extinguished.
Once the rain ceased, “We did a complete drive of all island roads, and two aerial reconnaissance flights, to ensure there was no fire or smoke,” Gillotte said.
The storm took a narrow, fast-moving path over the island, Gillotte said.
Catalina Island quickly began returning to normalcy once the storm passed. But first responders kept their eyes on the horizon, as additional storm cells were possibly moving over the island between 11 p.m. Sunday and 4 a.m. Monday.

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Woman bit by rattlesnake near Bridge to Nowhere in the Angeles National Forest

ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers rushed a woman to the hospital Saturday after she was bit by a rattlesnake while hiking near the Bridge to Nowhere in the Angeles National Forest, authorities said.
Officials received a call reporting the snake bite shortly before 10 a.m. from someone at the Bridge to Nowhere, along the East Fork of the San Gabriel River north of San Dimas, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Andy Berg said.
The caller reported a woman had been bit by a rattlesnake about half a mile south of the bridge, the lieutenant said.
The sheriff’s San Dimas Search and Rescue Team headed up to help, but Los Angeles County firefighters reached the victim first via helicopter, Berg said.
She was taken to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena for treatment.
An update on the woman’s condition was not available, Berg said, however rattlesnake bite victims generally respond well to prompt treatment with anti-venin.
The bite occurred adjacent to a portion of the forest known as Rattlesnake Canyon.
Experts have cautioned that the severe and prolonged drought California is experiencing could increase encounters between people and the venomous reptiles.
If bitten, Berg said the ideal course of action is for the victim to call for help and remain still.
“The first thing to do if bitten is to stay calm,” according to a fact sheet published by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. “Get to a doctor as soon as possible, but stay calm. Frenetic, high-speed driving places the victim at greater risk of an accident and increased heart rate. If the doctor is more than 30 minutes away, keep the bite below the heart, and then try to get to the doctor as quickly as possible.”

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