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Hiker Hurt in Predawn Fall at Eaton Canyon

November 21, 2005|Jia-Rui Chong | Times Staff Writer

A helicopter hoisted a 23-year-old woman out of Eaton Canyon in the Angeles National Forest at sunrise Sunday after she was critically injured when she fell and hit her head, authorities said.

Jolie Leblanc was hiking with two other people along a popular trail around a waterfall in the early morning darkness, said Sgt. Randy Rousseau, watch commander at the Crescenta Valley sheriff's station.

Rousseau said there are no overnight campsites in that area, and he doesn't know what Leblanc and her companions were doing on the trail in the early morning.

Someone called the sheriff's station about 4:50 a.m. to report an injured hiker. The Los Angeles County Fire Department dispatched a helicopter within minutes but decided that it was still too dark to attempt a rescue in the canyon, which is too narrow for a helicopter to land, fire officials said.

Crews hiked in and strapped Leblanc into a basket for a lift at first light, said Ed Pickett, fire dispatch supervisor. Leblanc was slipping in and out of consciousness as fire crews tried to stabilize her, officials said.

The helicopter set out again at 6:14 a.m., dropped a line to haul Leblanc into the aircraft and took her to Huntington Memorial Hospital in Pasadena, fire officials said.

Leblanc was in critical condition, authorities said.

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