Helicopter called for rescue

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A Flight-For-Life helicopter was called to the scene of a snowmobile accident in California Park on Sunday afternoon.

A 37-year-old woman and her 16-year-old daughter, both from the Denver area, were riding a snowmobile when it hit a ditch in the Slater Park Region of California Park. The 37-year-old woman was knocked unconscious and suffered back injuries, said Routt County Search and Rescue Mission Coordinator Jamie Neault.

Ten members from Search and Rescue, five guides from Steamboat Lake Outfitters and a park ranger responded to the accident, Neault said.

Because of the woman's back injuries, Neault said, Search and Rescue felt uncomfortable bringing the woman out of the area by snowmobile. A helicopter was called to assist with the rescue.

The accident occurred about 10:30 a.m.; the rescue crew arrived at the scene at about 12:30 p.m., and at about 3 p.m., the woman arrived at Yampa Valley Medical Center by helicopter.

The helicopter was flown from St. Anthony's Hospital in Denver. The Yampa Air Ambulance later flew the woman to a Denver hospital for continued evaluation, Neault said.

The woman and her daughter were about 12 to 14 miles from a vehicle accessible road and on a groomed snowmobile trail that is a dirt road in the summer, Neault said.

Guides from Steamboat Lake Outfitters had a good idea of where the two were going to be, Neault said, and the rescue crew did not have any trouble locating the pair.

The helicopter was able to land in California Park on a groomed trail without any problems.

The daughter rode back to Steamboat Lake Outfitters on the back of a snowmobile and went by private car to YVMC, where she was treated for minor injuries.

The accident was the second snowmobile accident Search and Rescue responded to during the busy President's Day Weekend. On Saturday, Search and Rescue assisted in the rescue of a 16-year-old girl who ran into a tree while on a commercial snowmobile tour.

The girl was about 4.5 miles from the Steamboat Snowmobile Tours' cabin on Rabbit Ears Pass.

-- To reach Christine Metz call 871-4229

or e-mail cmetz@steamboatpilot.com

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