Eighteen year old male falls

April 03, 2000
Humber Park
2000-009

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By Phil Thompson

At about 21:30 the page went out for RMRU to respond to Humber Park to rescue a fallen hiker. Ten members responded to the call. After a short briefing at Humber Park a two person hasty team was sent to the site with medical gear. David Carrick, an 18 year old from a private high school in Fresno, had tripped while hiking on the north side of Tahquitz rock, this area is known to be very hazardous with it being very steep with loose rocks everywhere. David was part of group of other seniors taking part in a senior weekend party. They had come to Humber Park to do a little hiking around, however when they got to Humber Parl they went off in all directions from the school vans that brought them. Some had gone as groups others apparently gone by themselves. David had been one of the ones that went by himself. While hiking up at the base of Tahquitz he slipped and fell an unknown distance landing face down in some rocks. While falling he both heard and felt his neck crack. He was very smart at this point and thought that he should not move his body until help arrived. Very fortunately for him one of the counselors with the group just happened upon him by chance. He then sent some of the other boys down to get help while he stayed with David.

When the RMRU hasty team arrived on site they did an in-depth medical exam while a second team was in route with a special litter that has a big wheel under it. Even before the second team arrived on scene, a third team was sent up from base to assist. David was stabilized into the litter and began the hard slow decent back down to base camp. He would have to be belayed with ropes all the way back down to base camp. After 2 hours the seven person RMRU team had David back to base camp and in to the waiting Idyllwild ambulance. After a debriefing the RMRU members hurried home at 4 am to try to get a couple of hour’s sleep before starting their normal jobs in the morning as if nothing had happened.

David was transported to Loma Linda hospital where it was later found that he had a broken upper jaw and had fractured C-1 and C-2 of his spine.

The lesson to be learned here is always hike with at least one other person. Had the counselor not come across him by chance, RMRU would have had several square miles to search for him once he did not show up at the vans. We would not even been able to track him due to the terrain. This could have been a very long and difficult search for the very injured missing person.