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Dirt Biker Rescued in Desert

Sheriff's search crews locate a man who is badly injured and near death two days after crashing his motorcycle in a remote area.

October 02, 2003|Hector Becerra and Monte Morin | Times Staff Writers

A dirt biker missing for two days was found unconscious and near death Wednesday by a sheriff's helicopter pilot near the tiny High Desert town of Antelope Acres, authorities said.

The 38-year-old man was sprawled beside his crashed motorcycle about half a mile from his home near an isolated dirt trail. He had a broken leg and head injuries. Rescue crews said the man was severely dehydrated and breathing shallowly.

"Paramedics said he was in really bad shape," said Sheriff's Sgt. Bill Sanders. "He's still hanging in there."

The sheriff's search helicopter was sent to hunt for the man when a neighbor and relatives reported about 1:30 p.m. Wednesday that they hadn't seen him for two days. He was last seen riding his dirt bike into the desert near his home, they said.

The helicopter crew sent from Mira Loma saw the man within 10 minutes as other ground crews canvassed the desert.

"The helicopter crew are the heroes here," said Los Angeles County Fire Capt. Mark Savage. "I don't think his injuries would have allowed him to last another night out there."

The unidentified man was airlifted in critical condition to Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills. It's not known why the man crashed.

"I think the lesson learned here is that if you're going to go out and ride in a remote area, it's best to go with a riding partner," Savage said.

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