Big Tujunga Canyon
Just a sad reminder for everybody - let's be careful out there...
Since the west end of Angeles Crest (route 2 on the north side of L.A.) is closed due to severe damage during last year's fires, the alternate route in/out is Big Tujunga Canyon.
A couple of us started out for a ride yesterday morning, and as I was leading, I became the first person on-scene for a wreck. Following is the blurb I typed up after we got home, in case his insurance or the CA Highway Patrol decide to follow up & contact me again. This is subject to revision as my buds discuss & recall, but seems ok for now.
Saturday 7/24/2010 about 9:45 or 10:00 AM?
Riding my m/c on Big Tujunga Canyon Rd eastbound, somewhere ? between Rancho Ybarra (?) & Angeles Forest Hwy
Conditions: very warm, dry, sunny; very light traffic either direction
Noted some sand and rocks in the road in many curves all along route
Coming around a left curve, I spotted a motorcycle & rider DOWN in the road
(presumed he lost traction due to sand & rocks in road)
Immediately pulled over to right, parked, ran up to offer assistance
(his engine was off but lights and horn were ON)
(bike identified as a Ducati 1098)
Rider not moving, on back, face up, eyes closed, left arm & leg appear contorted?
I got down on my knees along his right side and called out to him
HEY! CAN YOU HEAR ME? WAKE UP! CAN YOU TELL ME WHERE IT HURTS?
He was only semi-conscious, incoherent, and softly mumbling
It appeared that his left arm was probably broken, also possible break to upper left leg (unnatural position); armored riding leathers also damaged in corresponding areas
No apparent bleeding
He started to come around, slowly, and obviously dazed
3 Harley riders pulled over, one had a cell phone, so I directed him to call 911
Another Harley rider then also pulls in, he is a friend of the downed rider
Downed rider is starting to come around, friend is able to start him speaking, rider does not remember what/how happened
Downed rider grants us permission to undo his helmet strap, ok, but we do not remove
Forest Ranger (? agency actually Unknown, Assumed due to green pickup truck) pulls over
Ranger calls in emergency, advises us that he has done so
Ranger assumes First Responder duty
Shows me how to support head & neck of rider (I'm on my knees, with his head on my
legs just a little above my knees, head straight, mostly horizontal, with my hands on each side of his head for additional support & to prevent motion, to maintain C-Spine [neck] alignment)
Ranger is on walkie-talkie, starts checking pulse, respiration, & injury locations
Left arm, left pelvis or hip pretty much verified
Rider is still dazed and obviously in pain, but conscious & talking enough to tell us his head and neck seem OK
We carefully slowly spread/lift/remove helmet, no problem
I spot & point out to ranger minor cuts & beginning of bruise above his left eye,
possible concussion (helmet damage evident in corresponding area)
Harley riders move Ducati off road and to shoulder; shoulder/gutter area will not
support Ducati so it is leaned against rock face; some pieces of bike plastic
moved off of road
Firemen arrive; I'm to maintain position as they take over Responder duty from Ranger;
CHP also arrives
Firemen start checking him out in detail, maintaining radio contact with somebody;
Same injuries again verified with exception of: is it pelvis or hip
Ambulance folk cut off leather riding suit; got a brace under & around rider‘«÷s neck to immobilize, and my personal support duty was taken over by one of them (my legs fell asleep! I had to sit there a minute to get the flow back); rider was braced, splinted, put on platform, given I/V (saline maybe?) and O2 breather;
Truck took rider to helicopter for transport to hospital.
CHP recorded single-vehicle accident investigation info (photos, measurements, how I found him)
I gave rider‘«÷s friend my contact info, also gave him business cards for two M/C pick-‘«ˇem-ups
Gave my contact info to paramedics and also to CHP (separately independently)
Both agencies cleared me ok to depart.
When I read the thread title I was about to make one of my usual smart ass comments this time about Nick Danger - Third Eye (the reference to Big Tujunga Canyon, ya know) but then I read the contents.
Ya did good, Paul.
I'd like to think if I was in similar circumstances someone like you might come along.
Last edited by wezul; 07-26-2010 at 12:03 AM.
Good thread and good info.
A few weeks ago south of Wrightwood, Ca a rider in our group on an old Goldwing went too hot into a corner and didn't come out the other side. He ran off wide, cartwheeled the bike and completely tore himself up internally and externally. He was in serious condition and we were out of cell range for miles. Help did arrive within minutes of someone riding back into cell range to call in the accident. However, it took several minutes for him and the emergency operator to determine exactly what road the accident was on and "about" how far out of town it was.
While chatting with the pilot of the CHP helicopter, one of the many responders from the CHP, Sheriff dept, Forest Service, Fire Dept EMT's who showed up, he asked if any of us had GPS units. Most of us did. He urged us to use the GPS coordinates when calling in remote accident locations. Often times emergency callls come in and the caller either doesn't have a clue as to their whereabouts or severely mis-calculates where he thinks he is. If given the coordinates off a GPS the responders know exactly where the accident is.
So before sending someone off to get back into cell range to report an accident, give them the GPS coordinates. Those minutes and seconds are very valuable.
Excellent information that needs more sharing.
Fortunately in our case, the first ranger to show up - he actually just happened to be driving in the right place at the right time - knew which mile markers we were between.