Coast Guard medevacs injured man following car accident

MCKINLEYVILLE, Calif. – A crew from Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay assisted the California Department of Forestry yesterday in the medical evacuation of a 20-year-old male who was injured when he lost control of his vehicle and descended approximately 150 feet down a steep embankment while driving westbound on Kneeland Road in Arcata, Calif.

At 6:16 p.m., the Coast Guard received the initial report of a single vehicle accident from CDF personnel on scene. The CDF determined that because of the steep terrain near the area of the vehicle and the injured male, an evacuation by air would be the safest and most expeditious means of recovery and transportation to a local hospital.

Coast Guard Air Station Humboldt Bay launched an HH-65C Dolphin helicopter crew. The aircraft, piloted by Lt. Dave Johnson and Lt. j.g. Adam Wolfe, proceeded directly to the accident scene. Because of limited visibility from driving rain squalls and gusty wind conditions, the crew had to operate from a height of 100 feet. Flight mechanic Petty Officer Brian Wruck expertly maneuvered rescue swimmer, Petty Officer James Force, through 80-foot trees and fallen debris to assist the injured man.

Once on scene, Force quickly assessed the injured man and determined the need for further medical care. He and the injured man were hoisted and flown to St. Joseph Hospital in Eureka, Calif. The patient was listed in stable condition.

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