Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Man goes hiking, breaks leg, prompts search in Santa Cruz Mountains

Turned out that when we got to him his leg was not broken. It certainly made for a shorter incident. It was still after 23:00 before we got in. Cal Fire and Santa Clara County Fire were also involved in the incident.

Man goes hiking, breaks leg, prompts search in Santa Cruz Mountains
By TOM RAGAN - Sentinel Staff Writer
Article Launched: 04/28/2008 09:14:56 PM PDT

More than a dozen firefighters and a half-dozen sheriff's deputies, led by a pair of K-9s, combed the northern portion of the Santa Cruz Mountains for about an hour late Monday night, searching for an 18-year-old man who called his mother on his cell phone to say he had broken his leg and was unsure of where he was.

Fire Capt. Bill Tomkovic with CalFire in Felton said the distress call came in from the man's mother about 8:15 p.m. when she dialed 911. It's unknown how long he had been missing, but the man had been in contact with emergency officials via his cell phone and they were attempting to use GPS to determine his location. The original call said he was off Highway 35 in the area of Upper Zayante Road and Marty Road.

"He left the house and walked across Summit Road, then went down into the ravine and into the woods," Tomkovic said about 9 p.m. "We're using everything we can to find him, our eyeballs, our feet, our flashlights. He's somewhere up above the cave, but we don't know where that's at. His brother knows, though. So we're trying to get help from him in locating him."

Just 20 minutes later, firefighters found the man and were bringing him out. Further details were unavailable. The man lives with his family in the Santa Cruz Mountains - in the vicinity of Zayante and Summit roads, Tomkovic said.

Firefighters used dogs to "find his scent and track him," said Tomkovic.

An air ambulance was standing by to take the man to a San Jose area hospital if he
needs treatment, Tomkovic said.

Tomkovic said firefighters were talking to the man on his cell phone during the search.

Contact Tom Ragan at 706-3254 or tragan@santacruzsentinel.com.

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