VIDEO: Sheriff’s Jim McDonnell discusses freeway rescue
PASADENA >> A sheriff’s deputy less than two weeks out of the academy, along with three other good Samaritans, is credited with resuscitating and saving the life of a man found pulseless on the 210 Freeway following a car crash earlier this week, officials said.
Deputy Jason Flores who graduated the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s academy Sept. 4, spotted a car that had crashed into the center divider along the eastbound 210 Freeway near Madre Street in Pasadena as he was on his way home from work about 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, Los Angeles County sheriff’s officials said.
“The male adult driver was unresponsive inside the locked vehicle, prompting the deputy and another passerby, to spring into action as they risked their own lives by stopping on the busy freeway,” Sgt. John Glynn said in a written statement.
The young deputy forced his way into the car an unlocked a door to reach the unconscious driver, he said.
“Deputy Flores realized the driver was not breathing and did not have a pulse,” Glynn said. “Deputy Flores instructed the passerby to call 9-1-1 and request medical assistance, while he started to perform (CPR).”
As Flores continued CPR, “the driver gasped for air and had a faint pulse,” the sergeant said.
Two off-duty nurses stopped at the scene to assist before California Highway Patrol officers and paramedics arrived to take over treatment and rush the injured driver to a hospital, officials said. The victim’s heart stopped twice during the ambulance ride, but was resuscitated both times by emergency medical personnel.
Doctors rushed the man into emergency surgery, authorities said.
The driver, a 60-year-old Brea man, was listed in stable condition Friday, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said.
Further details regarding the circumstance of the crash were not available.
Flores had basic CPR training prior to joining the sheriff’s department, “but he credits the majority of his life-saving skills and techniques to the Sheriff’s Academy Recruit Training Program,” Glynn said.
Having just graduated the academy, Flores, 23, has not yet received his formal duty assignment, sheriff’s spokeswoman Nicole Nishida said. He will most likely be assigned to the Men’s Central Jail in Los Angeles.
PHOTOS: [TOP] – LASD Deputy Jason Flores (courtesy). [BELOW] – Los Angeles County sheriff’s Deputy Jason Flores receives his badge from his grandfather, retired Deputy Jimmy Jackson, upon graduating the sheriff’s Academy on Sept. 4, 2015. (Courtesy)
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Two people were hurt, and one of them went missing for hours, after their car plummeted over the side of Angeles Crest Highway deep in the Angeles National Forest early Sunday, officials said.
A passer-by discovered the crash scene about a mile north of Mt. Wilson Red Box Road shortly before 10 a.m. after hearing a woman screaming for help, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Lt. Bill Jaeger said.
Members of the Montrose Search and Rescue Team joined Los Angeles County firefighters to hoist the injured passenger, a teenage girl, to safety, Jaeger said.
She was flown to an area hospital by helicopter for treatment of injuries not believed to be life threatening, Sgt. Booker Hollis said.
But the driver of the car, a man of about 20 years old, was nowhere to be found as of noon, officials said.
“They found a blood trail, which indicates he’s injured and was trying to make his way out of the area,” Jaeger said.
Authorities called off the mountain search Sunday afternoon, Hollis said. The man remained missing.
Shortly before 4 p.m., however, a CBS television news crew that went up the mountain to cover the story heard a man yelling for help, Lt. Chad Sauter said. They notified authorities, who re-dispatced rescuers to the scene.
Officials found the man suffering from a broken leg and other injuries not believed to be life-threatening in the same area they had been searching with the aid of two helicopters and two search dogs, Sauter said.
It was unclear why the man didn’t call out to rescuers, or could not be heard, earlier in the day.
The crash was initially believed to have taken place several hours before the wreckage was discovered.
ANGELES NATIONAL FOREST >> Rescuers flew a 70-year-old woman to a hospital with head injuries Wednesday after she took a fall while hiking in the Chantry Flats Picnic Site, officials said.
The injured hiker was ultimately listed in stable condition at a hospital following the 2:11 p.m. mishap, Los Angeles County sheriff’s Sgt. Julie Geary said.
The woman tripped and fell, suffering a laceration to her head, the sergeant said.
A sheriff’s department helicopter hoisted the woman from the campground and rushed to her a hospital for treatment, Geary said.
PHOTO courtesy of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.