Lawsuit Claims Search & Rescue Delays Contributed to Mountain Biker's Death

Jan 3, 2019 at 10:00
by James Smurthwaite  

A lawsuit lodged against Riverside County Sheriff's Department, Southern California, claims that delays in a search and rescue operation contributed to a mountain biker's death, the Press Enterprise reports.

Andres Martin, 34, died while riding Santiago Peak on the evening of March 1, 2014. He phoned his wife just before sunset saying he was injured and sounding disoriented. He was found dead from hypothermia the next morning, having only worn clothing suitable for a ride in moderate temperatures. The temperature was not recorded on Santiago Peak that night but a nearby mountain that is 1,800 feet lower recorded a temperature of 39°F (about 4°C). A post-mortem revealed he suffered a blunt impact head injury that is not thought to have been the cause of death.

Martin's widow, Christyna Arista, has now filed a lawsuit claiming a "shambolic" response was a significant factor in her husband's death. She claims her family was told a search and rescue operation would be performed only for it to be cancelled two hours later. Arista and six other family members then took it upon themselves to begin a search at 3:45 am and it was a good samaritan from the Riverside volunteer Mountain Rescue Unit who eventually found Martin at the next morning. He rode up the mountain on his motorbike “before ‘search and rescue’ could even finish their briefing,” the suit says.

Arista claims that she had to endure overhearing a sheriff's lieutenant commenting that Martin was probably out cheating on her, a claim that her attorney called "pure speculation". She also asserts that when she raised her fears about hypothermia, she was told Martin was a "grown man" who would survive the night.

In the days after Martin’s death, authorities told local journalists that rain over a period of days made a helicopter rescue unsafe and made the clay ground too slick for vehicles and ground conditions too dangerous for a foot search.

Santiago Peak, south east of Los Angeles

An internal study conducted a month before Martin's death noted that search and rescue calls had gone up from 115 in 2011 to 237 in 2013 and advocated for a department wide search and rescue team. As it stood at the time, Riverside's search and rescue team was made up of volunteers and reserve deputies that the study noted might have lacked co-ordination and training.

The Press Enterprise (PE) reports that, "the Sheriff’s Department, in a statement, has said that while the agency 'does not have a dedicated search management and rescue team,' it does have sworn personnel who are formally trained in search-and-rescue techniques and stationed throughout the county. The department also has several internal teams and bureaus to aid in search-and-rescue operations, as well as volunteer groups, and uses mutual aid from outside counties."

The PE continues: "Riverside County has argued that its employees had no duty to rescue Marin, that it did nothing to put him in danger, nor did it prevent a qualified person from performing a rescue, adding that there is no constitutional duty to provide trained rescue employees. The county also denied creating a “special relationship” in which Arista and her family might have expected its employees to search for Marin."

This defense stood in April 2017 but has now been overturned on appeal. The Fourth District Court of Appeal Division Two said Arista could indeed seek damages for wrongful death, negligence, and negligent infliction of emotional distress, assuming her version of events is correct. The PE quotes the Appelate Court as saying: "Sheriff’s Department personnel (the deputies), through their actions, undertook the responsibility of rescuing the victim.” That included “using reasonable care not to increase the risk of harm.”

Arista and her lawyers are seeking compensation but also improvements in search and rescue efforts. She said: "My goal is that they get a search-and-rescue team that is effective and in place, so that no other family goes through what we went through, to save some other life so that my husband’s life was not lost in vain."

More details: here.


256 Comments

  • + 115
 I’m not a sue-happy person and I’m all for personal responsibly but if it were my family member, I’d be more than livid.
  • + 51
 I have had personal experience with Colorado search and rescue. They were fast, professional and corteous. It was an all Volunteer fire department. I always purchased the "fishing license" that helped subsidize them. Now I make yearly contributions as well.
  • + 113
 This is a sad story and a good reminder to not ride alone. However, if somebody I loved called me and told me that they were seriously hurt and needed help I would not have waited 6 to 7 hours to find them. That is a get in the car now sort of phone call. Sure the authorities could have done something. But I wonder what caused the family to not act sooner as well.
  • - 3
 jeremiah- I wouldn't because like most people with common sense, I completely understand that riding by yourself has inherent risks and you're putting others in risk that have to search for you in case something goes wrong. There are various reasons a search is called off and if private citizens want to ignore those risks in order to continue the search, that's completely on them. BTW her claims of what the sheriff said are pure speculation. As the saying goes, there are two sides to every story. Let this play out in court.... I have enough faith in the system that they will make the right call. Welcome to America where personal responsibility doesn't exist.
  • + 63
 @scott-townes: I hear you and am more on your ‘side’ than my comment might suggest but in this case, no way. If anyone with a head injury - specifically - not just someone that got lost, is reported missing on a well-known trail (San Juan is well-known) search and rescue should be out there at minimum with lights on foot looking not laughing it off that he’s probably “cheating.”

Lemme just say that if I were in the area and heard a search was called off and an injured rider was somewhere on the mountain bleeding, I’d like to think I’d get my bike and lights and head up the hill. Probably wouldn’t be the only mountain biker to do so given the chance.
  • - 8
flag scott-townes (Jan 3, 2019 at 17:59) (Below Threshold)
 @jeremiahwas: Again there are two sides to every story. We don't know the facts, only what she claims. There's a reason why the courts first ruled in favor of the state. there are many factors as to why a search can be called off because of risks to the search party that are pre-determined and that private citizens can choose to ignore in order to continue the search.

You and others on this site are blindly assuming this is the truth and how it went down. I can guarantee no one, especially a group of people, would "laugh it off he's probably cheating" when someone is lost in the woods with possibly a life-threatening injury.

Social justice warriors, assemble!
  • + 29
 @scott-townes: Well, to my original comment, 'I would be livid’ should be understood to be dependent on the facts as told.
  • + 18
 @aelazenby: "I wonder what caused the family to not act sooner as well."


The article says "She claims her family was told a search and rescue operation would be performed only for it to be cancelled two hours later."

If S&R had been like "Nah, we're not doing anything" and I was familiar with the area and had some idea of his location, I'd be with you, but even then that's from the perspective of someone who has some wilderness first aid training and is comfortable outdoors.

His wife and family might not be outdoors people. They might not know where he was riding, or have the capabilities to do anything if they did find him. She was allegedly being told there's an active S&R operation in a now-closed, huge, park, at night, on terrain she might not be familiar with.

I think the family's actions were reasonable; chill out, let the S&R do their jobs, then when you find out they're not actually searching take whatever action you can. I don't think that the lawsuit alleging that those 2 hours lost due to the S&R blueballing them on the search will be successful, but, given the facts stated in the article, I'd like it to be. Finally, I'd love to hear from the S&R guys and girls about this; they're normally gung-ho as anyone, I'd really like to know more about the conditions that stopped this search and just more of their side of the story in general.
  • + 15
 @scott-townes: normally I would agree with you. Why i don't here is the b.s. about the rain. I didn't go back and read the stories but the way this article is written it sounds like a properly conducted Search and Rescue operation would have resulted in this guy living. Ultimantly our actions are our responsibility. Search and Rescue is in place for a reason. This guy wasn't 100 miles from civilization, he went for an evening ride on a well know trail network.
  • + 39
 @scott-townes: if I had to wait on my riding buddies to ride every time I want too or would only ride in groups I would never have mtb as hobby. I love riding by myself and do it atleast once a week.
  • + 12
 @thejake: Not rain, significant possibility of mudslide if I remember correctly. There had already been significant rain with more and there had already been mudslides in the hills where he was riding. So that's why they did not go searching in the dark.
  • + 7
 This all could be avoided if people download the "find my friends" app. Have found many lost phones and potentially lost people. Our condolences.
  • + 1
 @scott-townes: Someone died jackass, would you not have looked for him?
  • + 5
 @jeremiahwas: Maybe you know more of the backstory than what was in the article, but San Juan trail and Santiago Peak aren’t the same thing. San Juan is on the Orange County side and the story says he was near Corona (which is in Riverside County, hence RivCo Sheriffs), so he was likely on or near Skyline or Horsethief. If he was, in fact, on San Juan, then your point is valid. Being an out-and-back trail, it’d be a fairly easy search. But if he was dropping from Santiago Peak, the amount of trails and the corresponding distances needed to be covered are exponentially greater.
  • + 8
 Faith in the system eh?....
Not bloody likely.
@scott-townes:
  • + 32
 @scott-townes:
"There are two sides to every story". Don't just recite a cliché. Not every story has two sides.
"blindly assuming". Not at all.
"I can guarantee no one...." No you can't. There are plenty of jerks in the world. Maybe this guy is one of them.
"social justice warriors, assemble". Name calling isn't making a point. And it sure doesn't add any force to your point of view.
  • + 48
 The issue here is that people don’t understand or look at the whole picture. So cyclist- goes out by himself. Thats fine. Many do including myself. Right kit, right prep-shit still happens. As for SAR, as a SAR volunteer I have some knowledge here. Im not defending anything but if faced with a huge and speculative search area in low to no light in bad weather with limited resource availability then a first light search is always safer and better quality. Hierarchy of rescue says the rescuer and team come first ie you have to be safe yourself and in that be able to be saved. I have made calls not to go out in a storm at night and a body was located the following day. Its tough. But it was the right call. At best you would have got a hasty trail check with a low probability of detection and then a team undeployable when the variables are best. Imagine walking rough ground at night perhaps in a hood with rain and tree noise and your visabilty is where your torch/headtorch goes. Its mainly looking where you want to put your foot next!
It maybe different in America but cell triangulation is a thing of tv and certainly in the UK will give vast seach areas (sometimes half a county!) Apps can narrow that but it relies on more than 2g. Good luck with that rurally.
So many variables but ultimately tragedies occur.
  • + 34
 @ilovedust: Shit happens. Personal responsibility. It baffles me how many times I read this kind of news. You go out by yourself. You hurt yourself. You die. How exactly can that be someone's fault other than your own?
  • + 4
 @scott-townes: Exactly, as somebody who worked in law enforcement for 31 years and has been named in several lawsuits, I can attest that the "complaints" written out by the attorneys are some of the most outlandish fiction ever told. They basically take the side of the plaintiff without ever doing one iota of research or investigation and then exponentially expand on the plaintiffs own lies. It would be comical if you knew the differences between the truth and what is written in the complaint. Needless to day, every lawsuit filed against me was dropped at some point when the plaintiffs lies were exposed at some point. One plaintiff actually pulled out a knife and started to shave his arm hair during the arbitration hearing when the ruling wasn't going his way.

On the one trial that went to court which stemmed from a fight at a Chargers vs Raiders game, I was actually dropped from the lawsuit on day one (the attorney that filed the complaint named every cop within miles of the incident it seemed) but the trail went on and the plaintiff lost of course when the truth came out from 50+ witnesses at the game. That plaintiff, an off duty police officer from a neighboring city, also had to pay for my City's cost of defending the frivolous lawsuit.
  • + 11
 @jaame: exactly. I ride by myself all the time (not the best idea, need some mates) but if something happens to me i wouldn’t and hope others wouldnt blame it on someone else or some other sh*t
  • + 1
 @mtbmaniatv: Another thing that many people do not realize, and should, is that pretty much all modern day phones have a built in gps locator that will give you exact coordinates, which is essential to any s&r mission.
  • + 11
 @scott-townes: you're sort of reducing the points made to a single lowest denominator w. by saying "personal responsibility doesn't exist" and social justice warriors assemble". Obviously there's some degree of culpability or the case wouldn't of been overturned on appeal. There's a degree of responsibility inherent in positions of public safety and it's part of how a developed society functions.
  • - 2
 @MichaelLinehan: In 2019 in the US every Republican has to make everything about being anti-liberal. And name calling is generally all they have. Certainly not empathy.
  • + 9
 @k2rider1964: Cool stories. Totally relevant.
  • + 4
 Check out Spot emergency locator, it’s Satellite based. Great for all types of backcountry adventuring, especially if going solo.
  • + 8
 @jeremiahwas Agreed. Unfortunately I don't know how far they will get; court case after court case has cemented the fact that the police's ONLY responsibility is to solve crimes. Not protect you. There have been cases where people call 911 and literally say, "there's a guy outside who says he's going to kill me." The police don't respond, murder occurs, family sues, court says police don't have liability. I am not sure it will be different with search and rescue. I'm not saying this to be a dick, I'm just explaining so people know. Reading some of the comments makes me think some people assume that we "don't know all the facts" (like @scott-townes was saying), but the real truth is probably that law enforcement has no responsibility to "save" anyone, even if the situation decidedly looks as if they should have responded. Basically, if no crime has been committed, the police have no legal obligation to respond.

Don't get me wrong, I think this is bullshit, but everyone should be aware that this is the way it is. Welcome to government service.

That being said, I understand the personal responsibility argument. However, I think that *could* be dealt with by the fact that the guy and his family (presumably) paid taxes to fund the sheriffs department and their search and rescue team. So when you pay for a service, those accepting the money can't deny you that service. I would think if this was a private search and rescue company (pretend this exists... like an insurance company that provides search and rescue service), they would certainly be held liable. Government agencies have the best of both worlds - they get to take your money and have as little accountability as possible.
  • - 7
flag Matt115lamb (Jan 4, 2019 at 0:26) (Below Threshold)
 @ilovedust: what’s the point of having a S&R team who are scarred of the dark and getting wet !
I know there’s tonnes of red tape to deal with but someone has died that could’ve been saved , this widow is right to take action !
  • + 2
 @ilovedust: Thanks for your work. We all know the risks (or should) we can also minimize the risks, I spent 25 years in the Military and as part of that took groups out hill walking. As a result I pretty much always wear a backpack and don't subscribe to a lot of riders who want to ride minimalist, I carry a basic first aid kit, a thermal survival bag, and some warm clothing for layering up depending on the time of year, some snack bars, a map & a compass, lights, tools etc. Most of my riding is around where I live on Salisbury Plain, it's not hilly but can be remote enough and the weather can change and be appalling at times, mobile signal is sketchy in places. Yes shit happens and when it does it will be at the most inopportune moment. However we can be semi prepared for when things go wrong. Last weekend I had to assist a 4x4 driver who was navigationally challenged trying to navigate the byways of Salisbury Plain via Google Maps on his phone, as he didn't want to be out there in the dark. I work on the theory that it's better to have it and not need it.
  • + 4
 @jaame: "How exactly can that be someone's fault other than your own?"

One of the things that distinguishes humans above other animals is that we take some collective responsibility for the safety and well being of others. That is how society works. It's not about whose "fault" the situation is, it's about a group of people who is able to rectify the situation either doing or not doing that.

If this lawsuit brings about an improvement in the way the Search and Rescue operations are organised in that area, it will have achieved something positive.
  • + 4
 @ilovedust: UK SAR teams are well-known for being very organised and well-drilled. Thank you for being part of this - you do incredibly valuable work and those of us who go out in the hills really appreciate it.

I don't know much about US SAR teams but in this instance it does sound as though there is the potential that the rescue operation in this case could have been better coordinated - the report published by the same department a month before the incident says the same thing. If that's the case, the court case could have a positive outcome.
  • + 4
 @Linkpin: we have personal responsibility and can count on support and kindness of others. Nobody really owes you anything. It may not seem so but it is a rather care free and happy way to live a life, also very helpful to others. Self reliance FTW
  • + 0
 @Linkpin: Yraining the search and rescue teams better or giving them a kick up the arse in some way to ensure a better response next time would have more value than paying taxpayers' money to a dead bloke's wife.
They tried, it didn't work out. Someone died. It happens to everyone at some point.
Don't waste money on a payout. If there is money to be used, I can think of at least two better ways to use it off the top of my head.
  • + 3
 @Matt115lamb: Its not about being scared of the dark & wet, It's about being effective, try going out in the middle of no where at night, turn you torch off and wander around. At night your visibility will be reduced to the torchlight, rain will decrease that further, then you are using the torch light to see where you are putting your feet, instead of searching and wasting energy.
You could walk past someone lay on the floor only a few meters away and not see them, so you would probably have to cover the same area again in daylight. I have actually been out riding at night and not seen a cow beside me on the track no more than 5m's away, until I turned my head a shone the light at it.
  • + 14
 Some of you are right arses. No one is saying he wasn’t responsible for going out for a ride or even falling. This is not what the case seems to be about. The “personal responsibility” advocates here. What was he soo used to have done? Call the sheriff before and ask whether they would come out in case he crashes? I am sure he was fully aware that he could injure himself and he took the risk. We all do each time we go out. But we also assume that if I can put a phone call out to someone and was able to somehow say where I am that the responsible authorities will try there best to get me out. That’s what society is built on. Trust that shit will function when required. The question is, was it correct of the SAR to postpone the search or not. If I crash and am delivered to the hospital and the doctor say “na, not my problem, it can wait until tomorrow” and I die, was it my “personal responsibility “ that killed me?
The question here is whether the SAR team made the correct decision or not. Not whether they are at fault that he crashed.
  • + 1
 @jaame: I agree to some extent on the payout, but I think that's a sideshow - it's whether or not the SAR could be improved that is the key thing, isn't it? That's what the chap's widow says she wants to happen.

It appears that the only way she can have any say in whether the arse-kicking or improved training (whichever is needed, if either) actually happens is by exercising her right to argue it in court.
  • + 6
 @WAKIdesigns: "can count on support and kindness of others. Nobody really owes you anything."

I understand what you mean, but I think that's a bit of a contradiction. We can't rely on the support of others unless there's an implicit agreement that it will be there when we need it and that we will provide it in return.

The reason humans have risen to the top of the food chain is because we are able to work as a team and not only for our own benefit - you probably wouldn't fare too well in the woods with the wolves by yourself, Waki...
  • + 5
 The problem with a litigious/ liability culture is that the Police don’t need to improve anything, they just need to reduce their scope of liability. They’ll just learn to say not our problem.

In NZ, the Police would look at this and say ‘holy f*ck, how did we get that so wrong’ and learn from it. Our national accident insurance would cover compensation to the family.

Anyway if you’re riding away alone near nightfall in sparsely frequented areas, carry a personal locator beacon. In NZ once you set it off the national rescue co-ordination (they’ll try to contact you to see if it’s a false alarm, if they can’t reach you the flag goes up) they’ll dispatch rescue helicopter/ boat/ landSAR to the location in minutes.

If you don’t have a PLB, but have cell coverage, call 111 (or 999 or 911....) instead of your family because most centres now tag GPS location on all mobile calls.

This is all too late for Andres but at least others can learn from his tradegy.
  • - 3
 i agree with @scott-townes:

This is why you can't trust gov't to have your best interest.
- Why did she wait for hours and not go try to find him herself?
- If my spouse called and said i was injured on some mountain side, i would drop everything to get there, not wait till
3:45 am to go out.

Be responsible for your own safety as well. A private rescue service wouldn't have ignored this call.
  • + 5
 @scott-townes: Based on your comment history you're either a troll or a deeply unstable, immoral individual.
  • + 4
 @k2rider1964: that was me with the knife. sorry my arms are really hairy, didn't think you'd mind
  • - 2
 @Linkpin: I totally get what you mean. I used self reliance as a principle to strive after. You are also contradicting yourself if you think about it. We would not survive if we would be counting on others at all times. Nobody is self reliant. But we should do ourbedt to not need help of others. The reality of most Jerry trips, rides, hikes, whatever is that people set out into wilderness better prepared to call for help than to spend time in there and comeback in one piece on their own. It is not malice. It is sheer stupidity. Polish legendary climber Voytek Kurtyka criticized Himalaya tourism and half arsed climbing, saying that experiencing the force of nature, gaining experience in handling life threatening situation is easy, within the reach of hand of most people. All it takes is to go 1km into the woods behind your backyard in winter in the normal winter clothing but without tent and cooking equipment, and try to stay alive whole night. Then you can increase the difficulty and go up with a tent onto a ridge in the mountains,close to the city and try to survive two days.

Fella over here had bad luck. As simple as that.
  • + 2
 @ilovedust: As a fellow SAR member, thanks for the perspective. You make a lot of great points people can overlook when focused only on the individual in question.
  • + 0
 @matttauszik: Ha ha I'm not sure why politics came into this at all. Is the OP suggesting that anyone who sues is a "libtard"? Funny, I seem to be seeing plenty of dumb lawsuits from both sides. The Roger Stone/Corsi conspiracy lawsuit against the DOJ is pretty entertaining.
  • + 3
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Maybe, but a private company would also have put him into debt for twenty years. You know, because saving lives should be a profit-driven industry.
  • + 2
 @jeremiahwas: Agreed. You can't expect someone in the family's position to have a rational, logical response. You can disagree with their legal actions but I think we'd all feel anger and great loss in this sit
  • + 2
 @plainsrider: that cow could have been the poor cyclist who was still alive , then you’d have saved a life ! I see what your saying however in this particular case there seems to be many faults !
  • + 2
 @doe222: that's not 100% accurate. Phones can receive GPS coordinates but not broadcast like a true GPS device. You need an app that sends your GPS location via cellular data service (like find my phone). If you do run a tracking app it will show your last global coordinates when the phone went out of coverage.For a 3rd party to track a random phone they'd generally use triangulation from multiple cellular points.
  • + 2
 @Linkpin: waki’s existence is a contradiction ! Wink
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: That's just not true. We sacrifice all sorts of liberties and rights in exchange for somebody else providing equivalent services. The challenge is determining where negligence and responsibility cross over.
  • + 0
 @jaame: We can 100% be friends.
  • + 0
 We are in Government shut down now. Being rescued now is slim to nope! We're pretty much good as dead out there!
  • - 7
flag bizutch (Jan 4, 2019 at 10:16) (Below Threshold)
 @Linkpin: Fokk that. Search and rescue organization implies a nanny state. We look out for ourselves. Not a single person on this planet is OWED any search and rescue.

It is incredible and amazing to be helicoptered out, 6 man hiked out on a backboard, winched up out of a ravine by a cable and pulleys, etc. But that is all purely goodwill and NO ONE SHOULD SUE ANYBODY IF YOU FALL OFF A MACHINE AND HIT YOUR HEAD!

Seriously...I cannot believe the shithole this world has become that any of you justify, let alone so many of you curmudgeons, a LAWSUIT TO MAKE THE GOVERNMENT BABYSIT, RETRIEVE and or RESCUE YOU OR ANYONE ELSE WHEN YOU'RE WILLFULLY AND KNOWINGLY TAKING RISK OF YOUR OWN ACORD AND KNOWLEDGE!!

TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR YOUR ACTIONS HUMANITY.

If and when help arrives, that's butter on your biscuit.
  • + 5
 @bizutch: There's feeling that you are owed a rescue, then there's reasonably expecting that services funded by your tax dollars actually provide that service. At some point tax payers got together and decided it would be worth their while to each contribute a little bit so that if an individual or group needed rescuing that service would be available and effective. The issue here is whether or not that public service performed their function in accordance with what taxpayers require them to do. If they followed their standard procedures and did not perform a SAR due to dangerous conditions then yes, there are no grounds on which to sue. But if SAR neglected their duty and did not follow procedures approved by taxpayers, there has to be a way of holding government accountable.

That being said suing the government for personal damages NEVER changes anything. The government has deep pockets and most workers operate on a "cover your arse" policy. They get sued, use tax payer dollars to settle, then go back to business as usual. Rather than suing for monetary gains it would be nice to see someone suing to eliminate someone's job, or enact some sort of impartial oversight over the department/individual in question.
  • - 3
 @MrFogg: uhm it's called insurance but whatever
  • + 4
 @SnowshoeRider4Life: Yeah, tell me about how reliable, affordable and effective insurance in the United States is right now.
  • + 2
 @wtmorgan1: Same here but we all understand the inherent risks of riding alone.
  • - 3
 @MichaelLinehan: "blindly assuming". Not at all.

Since you weren't there and don't know all the facts, yes you are blindly assuming.
  • + 1
 I do find it interesting living in Ventura County were we have 3 certified alpine mountain SAR teams in addition to the country fire resources that Riverside seems to be way behind us in capability. From the sound of it they don't have a helo that can do hoist rescues. VCFD and the SAR teams are out all the time around here.
  • + 3
 So you’re saying you have never ridden alone?@scott-townes:
  • + 2
 How can you make that guarantee?@scott-townes:
  • - 1
 @cowboy1000: Reading comprehension, bud.
  • + 3
 @thejake: I live in Orange County only a few miles from Santiago peak and can ride there from my driveway. I'd like to just add a few things as someone who has local knowledge.

1.) Yes it is a "well known network" but even though you are never are that far from civilization (as the crow flies) it is pretty remote up there especially at that time of year. Many times when I am solo up there I don't see anyone else.

2.) Another thing people might not understand unless they lived here is that our soil doesn't handle rain well. Once a threshold of rain is reached, the mud starts to cake to tires so bad that you literally cannot make progress. You have to shoulder your bike and walk as every 50 feet it gets so caked again you have to clear it.

3.) The ride he was doing was a pure gravel grinder. It is not "gnarly" in any sense. It's a 12 foot wide fire road.

4.) Hikers and bikers are routinely rescued with helicopters around here.

It's obvious in hindsight but heading out solo into a remote area that can't handle rain well, when rain and cold temperatures are in the forecast and not being dressed warm enough had fatal consequences. The rain and weather was what prevented the helicopters and trucks from going out like they normally would have.
  • + 1
 @tsn73: .....or the sheriff just fancied a nice dry night with his feet up sipping on a bottle of bourbon whilst this chicks hubby was dipping some broad ! I’ve gone all in !
  • + 1
 Let this be a reminder to fellow riders... not saying this has any significance with this situation... but if your buddy, family whomever call and need help... get your ass out there.
In no situation (seriously) would there be a friend in trouble that I wouldnt load up gear and head out... of S&R is there too... great.
This isnt backwoods skiing or snowmobiling.
Sucks how unfortunate this story sounds but I bet she / his family wish they would have done more.
  • + 1
 @ilovedust: I agree, as a first responder or SAR you only make the situation worse if you become part of the problem.
  • + 4
 @tsn73: The Sheriff Department has the legal and responsible duty of Search and Rescue. The local fire departments have attempted taking over these duties but the Sheriff has been unwilling to let it go as they would loose funding. They Also have FLIR which enables them to fly in inclement weather and identify heat signatures at night.

If they determined the conditions were too severe to search themselves they could have called the coast guard that will fly in any condition.

The fact that there was a known victim in a relatively known area that made a phone call in distress, probably on a cell phone that the Sheriffs could have more than likely pinged with GPS puts them in a very negligent situation.
  • + 1
 Sad story, another sad story is we almost never hear about the heros saving people. This is like watching the news, show all the bad shit happening because it gets people's attention. I'm on PB daily and would like to read a story about a successful search and rescue. I go out on a night ride like that and i sure hope other people don't die or get injured trying to rescue me. Because if they don't try they are afraid of getting sued or for that matter not even join a sar team for the fear of being sued.
  • + 3
 At the time this happened I was living at the base of indian truck trail on the other side of Santiago Peak. It was cold out and raining. But the roads seemed easily accessible that night if one were to open the gate and drive up a fire road to Santiago Peak. I was surprised to hear search and rescue wasn't gonna be attempted till the next morning. A simple unlocking of the gate and a 30 minute drive to the peak may have saved this mans life.
  • + 78
 Either you guys have a shit ton of mountain biking friends that share your schedule or you don't ride much. I ride 3 times a week and there is no way I could find a riding buddy each time.. I ride alone 90% of the time.. I'm going to share this with my wife and create a plan should this happen to me.
  • + 18
 When I ride alone, I use the satellite tracking on my Garmin gps so my wife can see where I am during my ride.
  • + 5
 Specialized has the ANGI helmets. A good failsafe.
  • + 13
 My approach riding alone.
- Let wife and/or friends know where I am riding
- Do more tame trails/XC rides
- If I am riding more difficult DH trails, I ride with a bit more reserve (70% speed).
  • + 1
 @Levelheadsteve: Which models can track/send alerts to my loved ones? I need one.
  • + 15
 Not 'super easy bro' to find people to ride with-plus, sometimes the peace and quiet of a solo ride is part of the reason why I started MTB. Dangerous I know, but.....what isnt'
  • + 3
 @stikmanglaspell: I have a Lezyne and all their models have a feature where as soon as you start your ride it will automatically send an email to whoever you have previously chosen with a link where they can track your whole ride. I feel safer on all my rides (with friends or without) that my wife has this access. So if I don’t give her a call post ride around a prescribed time and I don’t answer a call she can look it up and see what’s going on. I have their tiniest model and most of the time I just toss it in my backpack rather than mount it on my handlebar. Cost me like a $100 and works really well.
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: Pretty much all of them. I use the 735xt and it does the job nicely. Also worth downloading a gps tracker on your phone that can give precise coordinates in the event of an accident.
  • + 3
 I’ve got an app called Tokn, sends gps coordinates of my last location at a given time, so if I say I’m back at 1pm and don’t turn up it texts my mrs the coordinates of my location at that time, can be great but also awful if I’m in the pub
  • + 1
 @sewer-rat: Android or PiePhone? Tokn on android seems to be a business thing. got a link?
  • + 1
 @OllyR: Iphone buddy
  • + 1
 @Levelheadsteve: I had the accident alert function on on my Garmin for a while. The problem was that it went off constantly on the trail.
But yes. Lots of the tracking apps like Strava or Runkeeper have live tracking. Usually as part of their paid services. They all require a mobile phone (probably >= EDGE) connection though.
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: I have an older Garmin Explorer 1000 and it has crash detection that will alter my emergency contacts via text and email that a crash was detected and sends GPS coordinates with a map. Sometimes the detection is a little sensitive but it allows you about a 20 second grace period to cancel the alert.
  • + 2
 @Levelheadsteve: These still rely on a cell signal to transmit that! I have the same system, but I've also been rescued by the awesome folks at Silverstar resort after a fluke ankle fracture out of cell range that forced me to "ride out" to the call box on the bottom of their lift tower due to no cell service. I'm considering the Garmin Spot system as I've now twice been rescued "in bounds" (in 24 years of mtn biking) and cringe at thinking how complicated a rescue would be on some of the "big rides" we have in BC.
  • + 1
 @stikmanglaspell: solo is also a state of riding where someone like me has no patience to wait on a "crew" to bro around and just wants to go ride on the trail I wanna ride as opposed to someone else's version of a "cool loop". Wink
  • + 1
 My wife and I track each other simply using the tracking feature in Google Maps. Yes we need tower connection, but we are almost always in range. I wouldn't ride solo out of range on a cold night.
  • + 1
 Best thread in the comments section. We should all learn from this and take away safer methods to riding solo. Being prepared with coordinates and a means to alert the proper people in a manner that is easy enough (hopefully) to do even if you are confused from a head injury, you can still put yourself in best position to be found. RIP
  • + 53
 Man this is crazy. I live right around the corner and remember hearing about this that day. I ride up there and was there only a week or two before. Kinda spooky going up there in the weeks after. Something like the found him sitting on his bike leaning up again the cliff side. There had been a string of bad rain storms and super cold weather in those upcoming days. That day it wasn't raining but in the evening the weather turned. Andres was lost after falling and hitting his head becoming disoriented. He called his wife to say he didn't know if he could find his way back. I remember reading that the wife said - my husband would never go out in those conditions - something like that. He did though. But not simply that a bigger jacket would have spared his life though. It could have if he was wearing it but that is besides the point. Andres had fallen and hit his head becoming too disoriented and possibly too injured to make his way back. Not many people plan for those sorts of things. Not every situation is avoidable. Really just a shitty hand of cards dealt that night. There was no shelter and Andres was unable to make his way back. Weather was so bad that rescue missions were slow. Unfortunately Andres was not found in time and succumbed to hypothermia. It is not the safest option to venture out some of these places alone. Always be prepared. Hope for the best, plan for the worst. We wish a solemn RIP to Andres.
  • + 23
 How is this the responsibility of anyone other than the Biker and his friends/family. I understand that you would hope that the Sherriff's department would respond if you needed them, but anytime you venture into the backcountry (skiing/hiking/biking) by yourself the risk is 100% on you. I am sorry for the family's loss but this should not merit a lawsuit against a "volunteer" S&R group.
  • - 9
flag mkotowski1 (Jan 3, 2019 at 19:19) (Below Threshold)
 The group failed one way or another
  • - 12
flag BambaClaat (Jan 3, 2019 at 19:56) (Below Threshold)
 Why even drive up there then?
Hell, why even answer the phone?
Oh right... that’s their job
“To serve and protect”
  • + 5
 @BambaClaat: it's not a volunteer S&R responsibility to "serve and protect" by putting themselves in harms way. As others have said, we do not have all the facts but based on my experience with Lake Tahoe S&R they will do anything they can to make a reasonable attempt at rescuing someone. If the temps were only 39 F that night that does not seem unreasonable to survive for a night until a better effort for rescue could be mounted. Again, I hate that anyone loses their life doing outdoor activities but there is an inherent risk associated with all of them. I hope MTB karma does not bite me in the ass for my stance on this but I certainly woulnd't want my wife or kids blaming someone else for my decision, nor would I want anyone else putting themselves in harms way to attempt to rescue me.
  • + 6
 I don’t think this case is about responsibility of crashing. The question, I guess, is whether the department has a duty to respond in case of emergency, and whether the decision not to search was based on the correct decisions. If there is a fire, I can expect that the fire department responds. If not, they must have a very good reason not to. And yes, although they use volunteers, they are often financed by official sources or are non-profit and therefore also have responsibilities.
  • + 0
 @BambaClaat: so you need to be rescued and I die trying to rescue you now my wife can sue you because I died trying to rescue you. We are both dead and our wives are rich!
  • + 21
 I feel terrible for the family but self-reliance is the responsibility of each individual going into the out of doors. SAR is there to help but they are almost all volunteers and are by no means under any obligation to do anything. Your safety is your responsibility!
  • + 4
 Well put, this X 1000 SAR is not a get out of trouble card. These folks work damn hard with the best information they are provided to act in a timely life saving manor, often risking their own lives. I makes me pretty angry when lawsuits pop up alleging otherwise.
  • + 1
 @Hyakian: I think it must be possible to question whether the correct decision was made, no? Only because they are in the majority of cases doing a great job doesn’t mean that sometimes they get things wrong. Being a responder doesn’t give you a get out free card either.
  • + 3
 @mitochris: I don't think you understand the concept of SAR. It's not a guaranty, not everyone who gets in trouble outside the reach of medic first responders are going to make it. Some people will die. Add that to the fact that many SAR people are volunteer's. If you take the position that they are liable, then people will stop doing it. While it's possible that an act of indifference/gross negligence could factor in, that is up to law enforcement authorities to sort out, not a defendants attorney. People that put themselves in harms way are responsible for their own actions (period), that's 100% on them.

What happened to this guy was horrible and i feel for his family and friends, I've lost people like this, I know how it feels. That said, this is a legal move that I don't agree with (most likely recommended to the grieving family).
  • + 1
 @Hyakian: I do understand the concept, but I do not know about American law/regulations. I also don’t know the region. We also only know half the story. I also understand that there is no guarantee to be saved and maybe an extra insurance would provide finances to improve such operations. According the article, this was not a unusual situation for the involved. However, I still think it is correct to have the ability to probe whether the decisions taken that night were in line with the duties of the office. It might be that their decision not to search was fully correct, considering the safety of the volunteers. If it was because they laughed it off and said he is banging the babysitter then that person might not be suitable in a position of responsibility for other humans. Anyway, it is a sad story and I feel sorry for the family. I do hope that it improves the routines in such cases
  • + 2
 Working in both CSAR and HSAR operations, I'm always disappointed in the efforts that are put forth by some agencies. Using a fixed wing aircraft with a sensor that has FLIR capabilities to scan a trail system would make for a high probability for success.

Our company has supplied nearly 100 agencies with data relay and optics systems, as well as training. Other companies have prob done as much work as we have.

Bad weather? ok. Use a fixed wing and not a rotary. Night time and it's cold? Perfect, our FLIR will work better.
  • + 1
 @Hyakian: being a volunteer has got nothing to do with it . If your doing the job , your doing the job with the same commitment ! They should’ need volunteers for s&r there’s enough money !
  • + 20
 I was just thinking about this unfortunate event yesterday, as these are still my local trails and where I grew up riding. I have to say, I agree with the claims of the widow, and there's no arguing that he could have been rescued much much sooner, before his death certainly. Sure, he was out on his own and there are some inherent risks. On the other hand, they have the fire roads so locked down that you have to go through the county or similar authority in order to even get a gate open if you wanted to rescue in your own vehicle. A measly few years before this, the access gates would constantly be open and it was not uncommon to be able to drive up on any given night without issue. The fire roads are for the most part very tame and smooth and you can drive up them in a car no worries, certainly in a 4x4 even after the rain. By the way, the tamest fire road to go up which could have been used for this (Skyline) is basically permanently closed because of a local housing community being built right on top of it, and they didn't want people coming through their neighborhood. Also, there's at least 2 helicopter landing places they could have used even in the rain IMO that have exposed bedrock which wouldn't be affected by mid or straight up concrete. The dude was injured and reached out on his phone, and his location was mostly know, poor excuses all around, SMH. Maybe I should look into being volunteer responder on my dual sport.
  • - 36
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 18:05) (Below Threshold)
 Sheriff's have no responsibility to come bail your ass out of your own mistakes... this is just a dependa looking for a paycheck.
  • + 18
 @badbadleroybrown: Sure he chose to ride alone but why do we pay state and local taxes? We pay for these services.
  • - 52
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 18:37) (Below Threshold)
 @rivercitycycles: He never called 911 dipshit... his wife reported it. He could've easily called 911, could've called a riding buddy who knew the area, could've walked his ass back down the trail, could've used the most basic survival skills imaginable to survive a non-freezing night... but he didn't because he's a dumb shit who died because of mistakes HE made. The RSD is not to blame for his stupidity and they don't owe his wife a dime. She lost her paycheck and she's looking for a payday, they didn't do shit wrong... end of story.
  • + 20
 @badbadleroybrown: you are a buttf*ck!
  • + 6
 Right cuz the sheriffs job is to set up speed traps and pull over brown people. No revenue in an expensive search. Their job description is right there in the title “Search and Rescue”. Do your fkn job don’t get sued, easy as that @badbadleroybrown:
  • - 25
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 19:43) (Below Threshold)
 @BambaClaat: Where in "Riverside Sheriff's Department" are you seeing search and rescue?

Their job isn't to come rescue dumbasses who hit their heads and call their wives instead of dialing 911. That's just natural selection in action, no matter how much you cry about Brown people and speeding tickets.
  • - 20
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 19:46) (Below Threshold)
 @grizwald: show me on the doll where I hurt you...

It's hilarious how you pansies are so appalled by the idea of being personally responsible for your own safety and desperately want to make this the RSD's fault.
lol
  • + 6
 @badbadleroybrown: I don’t need a doll. f*ck you
  • + 2
 @badbadleroybrown: you guys should sue each other.
  • + 14
 It should be about helping someone in need. Period. Litigation is lame but it represents checks and balances.
Have some compassion. @badbadleroybrown:
  • - 22
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 19:55) (Below Threshold)
 @grizwald: Sorry cupcake, you're not my type...
  • - 20
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 20:00) (Below Threshold)
 @BambaClaat: if he was in need of help, he should've called 911 instead of his wife.

And if he didn't have the survival skills to live through a 39 degree night then he has no business being out on trails alone. The simple fact is that every circumstance which ultimately led to this man's death was solely his own fault. Had he called 911 and they disregarded it, I'd say they dropped the ball but the reality is that the search and rescue team is a volunteer component of the RSD without the resources to handle launching a rescue op for every housewife that gets a call that her old man crashed his bike... and suing them because she's bitter isn't going to do anything but ensure that trail access gets reduced and that they never have the resources to do anything in these situations. This bitch isn't trying to build awareness so this doesn't happen again, she's trying to cash in so she doesn't have to work again.
  • + 14
 @badbadleroybrown: did you not read the first 2 sentences that said this man sounded disoriented? Seems pretty highly likely that he was unable to call 911 due to hitting his head. Show some sympathy towards the situation. I think someone needs to knock you a few head shots and see if you have the ability to call 911 and explain the situation.

We lost a fellow biker and that's never a good thing. I'm glad articles pop up like this because more people will leave the house with "just in case" plans
  • + 4
 @krashDH85: oops I neg propped by accident, I completely agree. Cross reference ‘head injury’ on PB and see how rough it makes simple tasks. Bottom line is compassion for those affected and ensuing attempts to improve systems should always be honored.
  • + 25
 @badbadleroybrown: Dude you’re so horribly wrong it isn’t even funny. It’s like you literally have shit for brains. Had you actually read the article and comprehended it at at least a kindergarten level, you would know the guy was disoriented from head trauma, and in his poor mental state calling his wife might have seemed like the best solution. Also, survival skills mean jack shit when you can’t function properly to use them. You honestly have just made yourself look like a jackass and a retard. It’s stupid bigots like you that think they are soooooo much f*cking better than everyone else that ruin the internet, our country, our society and the world. I’d honestly like to see you try and attempt to survive this situation and fail miserably, as you’re so mentally deficient it’s a wonder you can even function properly as a human being, let alone a member of society.
  • + 8
 @badbadleroybrown: sounds like you're either a dumb and fat cop, or your sucking one's dick.

Lemme guess, you were 5.11 pants and pretend to be an operator while you're spewing all your tough guy bullshit
  • - 12
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 21:17) (Below Threshold)
 @krashDH85: ...and you sound like the typical low IQ, no sense of personal responsibility, pansy ass that thinks they should be taken care of at every turn and that they're not responsible for anything. Your safety is your responsibility...
  • - 4
flag bikeetc (Jan 3, 2019 at 21:19) (Below Threshold)
 @BambaClaat: ha ha, “pull over brown people” was this man a “brown person”. Im not brown and I’ve been pulled over by police because I broke the law, not because they assumed I was a brown person.
  • - 16
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 21:21) (Below Threshold)
 @TheSlayer99: I've survived situations far f*cking worse than bumping my head while alone on the trail... more than once. And you can bet your charmin soft, candy ass that I will again and if the day comes that I don't, I sure as f*ck wouldn't be laying the blame at someone else's feet.

PS - Kudos for the irony of displaying bigotry while crying that someone else is a bigot. lol
  • - 15
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 21:24) (Below Threshold)
 @Mntneer: I'm sure you have quite a bit of experience with what sucking a cop's dick sounds like so I'll have to take your word for it... but, no, I'm more of a jeans and t shirt guy.
  • + 6
 @badbadleroybrown: Your comments prove your IQ is lower than a coiler in the toilet.

You have no clue what I do, how I was raised, or how I conduct myself. I'd put money on my IQ being higher than yours, but that's nothing to brag about.

If all your word vomit towards me is because I have sympathy for a fellow rider that has passed, have at it. Not going to change how I feel.

In the meantime, eat a bag of d*cks.

Oh, and it looks like you're a pretty sh*tty rider too
  • - 9
flag badbadleroybrown (Jan 3, 2019 at 21:40) (Below Threshold)
 @krashDH85: You'll put money on your IQ being higher than mine? lol

I'll take that bet, PM me and let's set this up cupcake... name your wager, I'll happily match it.

I have sympathy for the deceased rider... sucks to be him. But I'm a realist... and, in reality, he got himself killed. Period. Sheriff's department didn't do anything that led to his death and I have zero sympathy for a litigious bitch trying to cash in on tragedy because she can't accept that her husband got himself killed.

Guess what though... this "shitty rider" has survived every crash and walked his broken ass back to the truck more times than he can count. So... if I'm so low IQ and such a shitty rider, by your own judgement, and I've managed to survive then really anyone ought to be able to. See how that works... even by your own logic, this dude f*cked himself.

But y'all keep on crying and virtue signaling, it's really hurting my feelings. lol lol
  • + 4
 this man’s death is being politicized. the defense was upheld and now an appeal from another court. seeking damages should be put aside and just fight and work for the change u want to happen. money paid for damages could go towards the change. i couldn’t in good conscious look to get compensation in this situation. i believe i’d choose a different approach in memory of a loved one.
  • + 4
 @badbadleroybrown: so it’s ok for the sherif to attend a crash when some drunk asshat drives his car into a tree but not for this? The police was in the wrong plain and simple, like you - prick
  • + 6
 @sewer-rat:

Don’t feed the trolls. This clown once offered to fly me down to California so we could fight in his driveway of his condo. I assumed he had a rage induced stroke and died, as his shit posting faded away to zero.
  • + 5
 @bonfire: ah I wholeheartedly hope he offers me the same!! Be nice to visit California, even for a showdown with someone who’s probably venting now to his buddies on Fortnite
  • + 5
 @badbadleroybrown: I don’t think you understand how severe brain trauma works bud. I’m words you can understand, when your brain gets hurt, it doesn’t work. That’s why people with suspected brain injuries are asked for simple memory recollection of things they should be able to remember instantly, like their name, family members’ names, the date, the day of the week and so on. When you have a severe brain injury it’s likely the brain will only remember some of these, not all or nothing. Clearly the way the rider injured his brain meant for one, he didn’t just “bump his head” and he could remember his wife and still had some cognitive function (the ability to solve problems for uneducated people like yourself) so he was able to call his wife and explain the situation the best he could with the mental state he was in. Furthermore, his brain injury was obviously severe enough to prevent him from walking home, or riding out, without bleeding on the brain being present, because of it was only minor brain trauma, he would have been fine to get up and ride or walk out, possibly with enough symptoms to self diagnose a concussion. If you still don’t understand pm me and I can keep dumbing it down until you do. I’ll reiterate that I’d like to see you try to survive this and fail miserably. There is little chance anyone could survive the circumstances of which caused the rider to die, unless you are someone with immense survival skills and got extremely lucky to have severe brain trauma and remember survival skills and have cognitive function.

PS - I can’t be a bigot if I’m factually correct. Don’t bother replying because I don’t want to waste my time intellectually raping you a third time.
  • + 4
 @badbadleroybrown: Are you the guy who called off the search? Lmao
  • + 3
 @badbadleroybrown: I can tell you're the type of guy who doesn't donate any money to charity and has some pseudo-intellectual reasoning for doing so... but really you're just a selfish c*nt lol Wouldn't lift a finger to help anybody else.
  • + 3
 @tom666: the annoying thing is, if it was him in this situation I’d still help
  • + 1
 I live in LA and ride there once awhile. I clearly remember this event and follow the news and learn as much as possible at that time.

One very important fact that the article and people's comment didn't elmphasize is that the day this event happened, it was a stormy day. The weather was unstable throughout the day, and was worst during evening (heavy rain, wind, and snow/frost at high elevation). In short, rescuer's safety is also important that's why search/rescue mission has to be postponed until next day.

I also stated a few facts that I learn from various news in other comment section (within this page), you can read it by searching my user name.
  • + 1
 @badbadleroybrown: hey tough guy, when I broke my scapula skiing at Whistler and gave myself a concussion that had me in the hospital for almost three days after, I came to alone on the side of the mountain. I called three family members reaching out for help before someone showed up and called ski patrol for me. You obviously have never had a serious head injury and have no sense to be speaking of others with those injuries.
  • + 1
 @badbadleroybrown: what's appalling is the typical red voter voting off of their emotions, usually fear based, sparked by unfit politicians for policies that hurt them in the end. It's kind of like the ignorant red voter that doesn't fully understand where and what their tax dollars go for. All while claiming personal responsibility and then taking every hand out they can find.
  • + 2
 @BambaClaat: if you need money pull over white people because they can afford to pay the ticket.
  • + 15
 Goes out into an uncontrolled area. Gets a head injury, dies over the course of what seems to be at max 10hrs and it's the sheriff's fault. Sports that require extensive knowledge such as climbing, backcountry skiing, etc never have people like this in it because they are capable of understanding risks involved in their sport. Do you think its search and rescues job to save the some odd 100 people that die from avalanches in a year. Sorry for the loss but it's entirely his fault alone. Accept responsibility rather than blame volunteers.
  • + 6
 I don’t know why I’m choosing to respond to this instead of all the other ruthless posts. While I do agree with part of what you are saying it may be the avalanche comment that makes the rest of it extra awful. This is so incredibly different than an avalanche. We don’t know all the facts and I don’t think either of us have been to the trails in question and we don’t know if it was a double black trail going through the gnarliest conditions far away from double track/fire road or a blue reasonably close. When the guy with a motorcycle found him was he riding his motorcycle? Was it on foot in a difficult area after parking his bike? From the info we have it sounds like an atv could have found him fairly easily even in the dark. One can assume whoever takes care of the park has access to an atv or two. The issue here is that it sounds like he could have been saved without extreme difficulty/putting other people’s lives in an unreasonable amount of danger. So when his wife calls the authorities it sounds like something could have and should have been done. If the authorities took proper action - whether it be the Sheriff, park rangers, search and rescue - there is a pretty good chance this guy would still be alive. And ya maybe his wife could have done more herself but we live in a civilized society and pay a butt load of taxes for essential services and emergency services. I would hope the emergency services in my community would do better.
  • + 2
 @Mwmg15: i recommend you get involved with any SAR organization, then come back and review your post.

It's horrible that this happened to this person and i feel for their family and friends...
  • + 1
 @Mwmg15: agreed. this is very different from an avalanche, and backcountry snow sports have plenty of people making poor decisions.
  • + 1
 @Mwmg15: you used "it sounds like"
several times. So you and I only know what it sounds like. We were not there.
I have been involved in a few search and rescues and the lives of the searchers are taken into consideration 1st. You don't send searchers out when there is a go chance they will need to be rescued.
  • + 13
 As someone who has been in the rescue business for almost 20yrs now, I think some of the comments on here have stooped to a new low level. Even for PinkBike keyboard warriors. Someone died. period. Show some fucking respect. That was someone's husband, son, dad, whatever. Regardless of the circumstances, if that was your loved one, I guarantee you would not want to read some of the bullshit on here, and if you did, you want to flat out murder those disrespectful assholes. None of you truly knows what entailed. I will say this though. IF in fact those comments were made by a professional person of duty, and they were heard by the victims wife, than that dept. has what is commng to them. Unfortunately, the actions of one person can sink a ship. I do not believe that either of the entities caused the victims death. The enviroment killed him. Hopefully, some good will come out of this. IMO , and through my experiance, all the local agencies have a duty and moral responsibility to act, within their scope of practice, and without judgement. I like to think we all try to the best of our ability, and I would like to assume that the agencies in this story did, but not every story has a happy ending. Not everyone gets saved, no matter the effort. Ride with a buddy when you can, let someone know where you are going, and prepare accordingly.
  • + 2
 Correct. When you are the service provider in this situation, your duty is to act professionally and compassionately. If you're unable to do that, find a new job.
  • + 10
 Absurd. Theres risk to riding alone. The s.a.r. team is vokunteer.and followed standard operating procedure for a.late afternoon call. When and by who he was found is irrelevant except that he was found at 1st light which bolsters the wait. Widow looking for a scapegoat
  • + 3
 So obviously sop wasn't followed properly or the lawsuit wouldn't of been upheld. That last line you threw in there dismisses where she says the motivation is to try to prevent it from happening in the future, which might actually be a good thing. Maybe they're will be a time when you come to look at something like a loss of life with a bit more nuance.
  • + 1
 So SAR only works during standard business hours. Nope, doesn't work that way. Same as volunteer firemen, they have to respond to an emergency regardless the time of day. Definitely a risk of riding alone, but SAR has a duty as well.
  • + 1
 @dualsuspensiondave: sar has a duty but that duty is not to endanger more people. This same story has played out many times and it is unfortunate but it happens. The man that died has a family just like the members of the sar team. The family's of sar teams want there loved ones to come home also.
  • + 9
 this isn't okay I agree that everyone should have personal responsibility but it the the job of search and rescue to keep people safe and in this situation they failed their job I also understand that by mountain biking you are excepting some level of risk but this guy literally called someone, talked to them, had them call search and rescue and then died over the night. the family has every right to be highly angry.
  • + 9
 It's a Sheriffs dept not Search and Rescue.
  • + 21
 All in one sentence. Impressive.
  • + 4
 @joshandhisnikon: but and however the Sheriff Department is responsible for search and rescue
  • + 6
 I need Search and Rescue for grammar and punctuation to read that.
  • + 1
 @splsce Not really, they aren't even trained paramedics.
  • + 3
 @joshandhisnikon: Although they are not paramedics, they are responsible for getting the right people involved. To protect and serve is their duty.
  • + 10
 Honesty we don't have all the facts do we. My condolences to the deceased man. This is dirty laundry. Why the fuck is this on PB! Pink bike is a tabloid now. Get rid of this fucking BS.
  • + 64
 Maybe this article makes someone reading it think more about safety. It could save a life.
  • + 3
 Agreed
  • + 6
 The facts we do have; 75% of the worlds lawyers practice in the US, and they file 94% of the world's lawsuits.
  • + 4
 Every now and then shit happens. We must remember how rarely it does. No point in judging or being too smart about should haves could haves. Enjoy your life, if you have problem with it, learn to enjoy yourself. Life you live may end anytime. On a wheel chair or with immobilizing concussion or on your daughters chemo, parent making their way out of this world for a your or more, in your on cffin, you name it. Get some happy moments people...
  • + 3
 there is always some shit in this sport. 3-4 years ago We found a guy in the ground in the middle of the trail. He it so hard his face He was unable to breath. He was very lucky,1 rider in the group was ready for this emergency and open his mouth with a tire lever and he breath again...Maybe 1 minute more and the guy could be found dead by the next group of riders. He was not ridding alone,but he was the last guy in the pack and any of his mates realize what happened. It was a horrible experience but the risk is always there and when something goes wrong I/We/All must be prepared. Just in case I always carry a good first aid kit in my backpack.
  • + 8
 As a member of a ground pounder team and a mountain biker, this is upsetting. Not only is it our duty to search for those who are lost, it is our duty to be kind, compassionate professionals. It sounds like lazy leadership is one of the bigger problems here. Im glad to hear one of the team stepped up to do his job when no one else would and rode up the hill and found the victim. The public puts their trust in us, we owe it to them to give our all! Who would you want rescuing you?
  • + 1
 Thanks for your efforts and perspective.
  • + 9
 Holy shit. I’m so thankful for our amazing search and rescue teams and first responders here in BC. We are in good hands when things go wrong.
  • + 2
 Was thinking the same thing. BC has volunteers, but highly trained ones. As a former volunteer I can guarantee a BC SAR team would have gone out in those conditions and searched all night. Only conditions that BC SAR teams don't go out in would be heavy winds.
  • + 7
 ""...and her lawyers are seeking compensation but also improvements in search and rescue efforts...". Her lawyers give ZERO F's about improved search & rescue ops.
Tragic accident...she may have a case. However, pretending the attorneys care about more than a payout is laughable. I'm sure I'll be down voted for that assessment.
  • + 18
 Of course the lawyers dont care.. she does. However if the lawyers represent her and that is one of her goals throughout the case then that is part of what they will be fighting for.
  • + 15
 @bman33 I think you've completely misinterpreted that sentence.
  • + 9
 Just an FYI “Her lawyers are seeking...” is another way of saying “The plaintiff is seeking...”. The lawyers are acting on her behalf, so it’s written like that. It’s not supposed to imply that the lawyers are personally interested.
  • + 2
 Downvoted? Lawyers and dentists are the most hated professions on here. Hell, we like whores and bike reviewers more!
  • + 2
 lawyers are rarely personally interested
  • + 6
 Quick google search and you can find a lot more of the details.. definitely creepy how they found him on his bike leaning against the cliff. I’m from Southern Cal, have not gone that deep into the Santa Ana’s. Sounds like he was somewhat unprepared. Because we don’t get a lot of rain most of our trails don’t do well after getting dumped on. He was on a really big ride on a trail in highly questionable condition, no food, it’s possible he fell, he might have just bonked from exhaustion and lack of food/water. Coroner said no head injury.

www.google.com/url?sa=i&source=web&cd=&ved=2ahUKEwjojM7pwdPfAhVJAqwKHS_cD8QQzPwBegQIARAD&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.ocregister.com%2F2014%2F03%2F04%2Fmountain-biker-found-dead-in-cleveland-forest-was-celebrating-birthday%2F&psig=AOvVaw2Lctcv5HX9qpohVUEwXx9V&ust=1546670253479313
  • + 5
 Folks with more legal knowledge that I can step in here, but I'm suspicious of the various comments that the Police or SAR folks have "no responsibility" to do their best to find lost and/or injured people. I have held various first aid certifications for decades, and have been involved in numerous medical situations, some very serious, some involving loss of life. One of the things the first aid instructors always talk about is good samaritan laws, roughly, that people are expected to do, and can be held legally responsible for not doing, what somebody with equal training would be expected to do. If those kind of standards, however loose or vague they might be, can be applied to everyday citizens, I would be surprised if there is not a higher standard for an official SAR team, even if made up of volunteers, not least because it appears this SAR team was associated with and possible even partly funded by the Sherrifs office. As for the comments that the Sherrif's office only has a responsibility to solve crimes and not save lives, that may be the precedent that has been established by the courts in soem places at some times, but that seems like an extremely limited vision of what it means to protect public safety. From what I understand, police officers often go out of there way to help people in need, even if no crime has been committed, even at risk of their own lives. Again, I would be surprised if they were not in some way legally obligated to do so. Police officers, fire fighters, SAR teams, and so on, exist to help the public in situations exactly like this--it certainly seems like something failed this time.

Now, it may be true that the Sherrif's office and SAR team did do their best in this situation, and that meant waiting till morning. Maybe that was the right call, for all the reasons mentioned by others (darkness, effecient use of resources, and so on). We only have one limited side of the story, but, based on the information here, there are at least three things that make me think that the public bodies made serious errors and may be legally liable. 1) The possibility that they told the wife that they were starting a search and then cancelled it several hours later, 2) The possibility that they have made those insulting comments, and 3) The internal report which previously found fault with the institutions. I mean, really, we are not talking about a risky backcountry environment here, like the high mountains. How hard could it be to send some folks up the trails, shouting, blowing whistles, and so on. If the rough set of facts presented in this article are true, I think they should be held liable for their failure.

As an aside, yes, we live in a litigious society, but the repeated comments on here that "The bitch is just looking for a paycheck" reveal a deep misogyny and, I would say, a great fear of women. The instinctive hatred is revealing.

Last, for all those who say, "It was his fault, shit happens, he should have been prepared," I would say, be careful of the belief that you have it all under control, that you will always make the right decisions, that if you get in trouble you will be able to extract yourself, or that if you do pay the price, whatever that might be, including death, that you will accept that responsibility with individuality and grace. Pretending that you may never need help, or that you will bravely accept the consequences of your own actions at all times, betrays a lack of experience and self-reflection. Humility and empathy are advised.
  • + 1
 @brunoschull: I agree entirely with you. However, I am not sure the “good Samaritan” law exists in many countries. For instance, I am not aware of it in the UK or Sweden, while Germany and Switzerland seem to have it.
  • + 1
 @brunoschull : I'm filtering through all this and I've basically stopped here. The technicalities of the situation aside, this is a thoughtful and well-worded comment. Specifically:

"...be careful of the belief that you have it all under control..."

What you think you can and/or will do in a given situation from the comfort of your armchair or in a hypothetical is not the same as when that given situation actually occurs. From my work I can attest to the myriad variables involved in peoples' decision making and that one cannot simply remove the human condition from situations like this. From anyone...the rider, the wife, the public bodies (which are run by human beings). It's unfortunate that part of the human condition for some is to create black and white situations where there needs to be blame or absolutes installed.
  • + 5
 I live in LA and ride there once awhile. I remember the news a few years back, and I follow up the news as much as I could to learn more about it back then.

The key points I remember is based on various news article at that time:
1. He ride alone and he had been there before
2. The storm was coming and weather was unstable throughout that day
3. He didn't bring any food
4. He called his wife as he wasn't able to find his way back somehow
5. Recuse mission couldn't happen due to bad weather
6. He was on his bike when he was found dead

I used to host group ride so I try to learn from other people experience and use it to educate new member, and this event is a life lesson for many. In this case, I think the rider is responsible for his own safety when riding in extreme weather and we cannot expect fireman or rescuer (who also has family member and loves ones) to risk their life in these condition to perform a searching mission.
  • + 1
 You get it! We have to think of the lives of the sar team as well. Its not up to them to die trying to rescue someone.
  • + 5
 I do believe the guy was taking the risk so he bears the responsibility. However, it seems like they could of found him easily by checking the GPS of his phone. Even if you are not using Strava or another GPS app, GPS is always pinging and cell phone companies always tracking.
  • + 4
 I saddens me how many things people believe they deserve. This lawsuit will benefit lawyers only. It will make insurance more expensive, and will not change any protocols for the next time a person hits their head alone in the wilderness. It was an accident, a very sad unfortunate accident. There is no person/ organization to blame.

For those of us lucky enough to be alive a healthy to read this we should take inventory of all good things around us, and plan as best we can to know how to react should our adventures turn to disaster.

These types of lawsuits don’t help anyone.
  • + 4
 If successful, this sort of legal action will cause trail restrictions.
  • + 4
 Why stop there, sue everyone at this point....Mother nature, the weather, the bike manufacturer, the helmet manufacturer cause obviously didn't protect his head. Backcountry riding is high risk, be prepared for the worst at all times....everyone in PB knows that and if you don't you are gonna end up like this guy! Expecting to be rescued in the backcountry the same day? Good luck, there's like 10% chance! It takes 6-8hrs even to mobilize, by that time is night time! The weather, the terrain....shit ain't easy! You guys should volunteer for SR in the Sierras!
  • + 4
 And this is why i don’t ride alone. First and foremost to have a dedicated team cost big money. Money for yearly if not monthly training. Money for certain equipment etc so if it’s not in a budget that elected officials are responsible for approving it’s not on the sheriffs dept for not having adequate training and necessary tools to be quick and efficient.
  • + 3
 As a paid firefighter for 30 years, I have some experience with SAR. First off, our safety comes first. We don't want to have to rescue one of our own as well as the victim. Its wastes time and resources. But I will say, without knowing all the info, I'm not going to guess about what happened or might have happened. It is very unfortunate though. But accidents happen. We had a case here in CT years ago. A woman was riding on a closed trail, in a closed park, and hit one of those green metal gates, which was closed. With a 'closed' sign on it. She sued, and won. Crazy ass liberal CT. I wouldn't be surprised if this family wins also, being CA.
  • + 2
 Regardless of who's ultimately held accountable for this man's death, this makes me really think about a lot of the riding I do... At night... alone ... miles from reliable cell coverage. I know you can buy those million dollar watches that function as GPS beacons and hold some kind of insurance policy to bring a S&R team to you via helicopter or whatever, but is there any kind of device affordable for a normal person that could alert someone/share your location dependent of the cell network? The difference between me and this guy is basically just pure chance and I find that terrifying. Condolences to his friends/family and I hope something good comes of it eventually, whether it be improved response or just better planning/awareness on the part of riders.
  • + 2
 It was an unfortunate accident. That’s all.

Conditions were some of the worst the area has seen, with saturated ground, erosion and slide potential. The storm system had not passed, but there was a window which he saw as a ride opportunity. The route he chose was ambitious in good conditions due to mileage, none of it on ST but remote for the area. Rider was not equipped for conditions, let alone contingency. These forest routes are in spots steep, loose and rocky; many riders have taken a surprise digger.

Overlapping factors conspired to make this tragedy. Crash, riding alone, sketchy weather, limited skill, no emergency communication means, little or no weather and survival gear, delayed rescue response.

RIP, rider.
  • + 2
 You take chances with an inherently dangerous sport in a wilderness environment, you are solely responsible for your life and well being. I'm sorry he died, but in any rescue scenario you take care of yourself and your response team first and second, and the victim is the third priority.
  • + 2
 I recently purchased a Garmin InReach Mini for situations exactly like this. No ‘searching’ required for rescue. Even if you don’t want to get a monthly subscription (for two-way messaging and GPS tracking) the SOS function will always work. At $450 CDN is a worthwhile investment for anyone riding alone.
  • + 2
 All in all a sad situation. Was the S&R negligent? I have no idea. Did the Sheriff have a legal duty to act? In California I don't know. But maybe, just maybe we can actually learn from this incident.

I was formerly very involved for many years in a rural Fire and Rescue department and had friends in Law Enforcement and Search and Rescue. Yes, they are more gung-ho than you can imagine. They do make mistakes, but often only in hindsight,

The most important thing for survival in a wilderness trauma situation is to get the injured person to a hospital. That may require locating them. Make the S&R team's job easier. Have some sort of location device.

A GPS location is a joy. But terrain and vegetation may reduce the accuracy. I have seen a GPS tell a stationary ambulance that it was 500 meters from the actual location, and that it was traveling at 20 Km/Hr. Wet trees and a stiff wind can make a mess of your GPS coordinates.

The GPS in your hand held device in not better than the one mounted on that ambulance. While they should be better than a cellular based location beacon, a satellite locator may or may not be able to get a location message out.

And tell someone where you will be going.I ride alone a lot, but I always tell or text my wife with the planned route of my ride. Then, send a text message if your route changes.

If human trackers or tracking dogs are an option, stay out of the search area. I have seen a dog and handler track an intoxicated and head injured person who was hiding. If you go tramping around you will make their work difficult if not impossible. Dogs are probably not an option for a bike rider... until they abandon their bike.

I had a friend who was involved in a search for a child who went missing while riding her horse. The local community did a massed human search. When the dog arrived a few hours later, they were unable to track the child, who was found dead several months later.

Next, remember that aircraft can't always fly. There are times when you just have to wait. Searching a large area at night in the rain or snow is most likely going to be a waste of time and energy. Flying a helicopter at night in rain or snow? You have got to be kidding me. And yeah, I know that the Oregon National Guard once plucked an injured climber off Mt. Hood. I worked with one of their pilots. That was a huge risk. You can't expect that kind of thing.

Carry a first aid kit, but know your limits. Do you have a cervical spine stabilizing collar? Do you know how to measure and fit one? Ever stabilize a pelvic fracture? Ever placed an oral or nasal airway adjunct?

None of us in the field know the severity of an injury or what dangers are hidden. A sharp bone fracture near the femoral artery? Spinal fracture? Think you can see those without some kind of imaging device?

It is possible that the best thing to do is stabilize the injured person where they are and wait for trained and equipped response team. A radiant heat trapping wrap is a good idea and can fit in the under seat bag where you put your emergency tube. It is hard to cause harm with one of those.

Lastly, respect the mostly volunteer groups who are attempting the rescue. They are putting their lives on hold, often at personal risk. Maybe even join such a group. It might just be the most rewarding thing you do in your life.
  • + 2
 I would think differently if this were in the wilderness out of cellphone range.

Fact is Riverside if a dense city and I can't imagine an excuse besides unprofessional management (or lack thereof) that caused the man to die. We know the coordination search and rescue team was documented as possibly inadequate. I know all those people made an effort to the degree that they thought was possible. But obviously their effort was not enough to save a lost man's life.

Perhaps there was SARS mismanagement no one on call?
Perhaps the management miscalculated the severity of the injury?
Perhaps the family was not convincing in communicating the information?
Perhaps the SARs protocol did not cover this situation?

Lots of possible things to go wrong and a wrong chain events lined up and ran to lethal completion.

My opinion as, someone with wilderness first responders training, is that a link in the chain-of-life was not operating as it should have. This should not have happened especially in a near urban setting. So while the sheriff's department may not be legally responsible for the death, the municipality should take responsibility for lack of emergency preparedness.
  • + 2
 My 2 cents, as a trained first responder, one of the first lessons is to not become a victim yourself trying to render aid. Most of my riding is solo so I'm often considering my options, and personally wouldn't start a ride in those conditions, but that's my choice. I remember this tragedy and recall the victim left the house in a t-shirt and shorts (no rain gear) in pouring rain and 50-degree temps. I've ridden these roads & trails extensively, and with that amount of rainfall, there's no way any 4WD is getting into those hills without sliding off the road. The helo was called off due to heavy rain and high winds. Are there other means to access? Yes, of course - mountain bike, dirt bike, on foot etc. Not defending the actions of anyone but simply pointing out the conditions at the time and those responsible for the lives of SAR also have tough decisions for their well being too. His decision to ride could have had a completely different outcome but unfortunately it didn't and it's a damn shame that his wife and family are left without him. RIP
  • + 1
 Too many if's, ands, buts, could have, should have. We cannot sit on our keyboards and make judgements as too who was at fault (and I don't believe a courtroom can either), if anyone is. We do not know the full facts, we do not know the thought processes of those involved and what information they had at the time, to base their decisions on. I am not a fan of these type of lawsuit actions.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing thing, it was a tragic accident that resulted in the loss of a life and no amount of discussion, arguing, lawsuit will bring them back.

The outdoors is unpredictable, we can minimize risk by taking kit with us, telling people our routes and when we will be back, don't rely solely on technology (it can break) however we will never eliminate the risk.

Ride Safe People.
  • + 5
 Bureaucracy gets in the way of doing things right , as always .
  • + 1
 Very sad situation. Which brings about a natural reaction to transfer responsibility. And I'm sure the gentleman that perished was a good guy. But when we go out into the woods the reality is we take on the responsibility of being out in the woods. Expecting that someone is going to come save us is not realistic. And then saying the level of effort was not enough leads to the very subjective question - what is enough and how much risk should be taken by the rescuers.

The logical reaction of the landowners of the property we ride on (private and public) to being sued is to close the property to our use. I'd rather prepare by riding with others, letting someone know when and where I'm riding, bringing first aid equipment and clothing that fits more than just the sunny Wx I hope for. And then accepting the responsibility if things go wrong.

Of course the wild card is that I have no control over what my heirs and lawyers do after my death. And the call of a big check from a lawsuit is very tempting.
  • + 1
 Nobody had a helicopter near????? just do a fly by (even at night) and check. That is where the first mistake was made. Sounds like negligence and a nonchalant attitude. Again, why do we pay taxes???? I know, there can be an argument made about money spent for the helicopter...blah blah blah...but he wasn't out long and it shouldn't have been that huge of a search area. Unless he was out blazing new trails and creating the path---a quick fly by of current trails shouldn't have been that hard.
  • + 1
 It seems like once again many PB commenters are arguing about BS. Don't get lost in the details. Don't go down that rabbit hole.
The article is not about whether the SAR team should or shouldn't have gone out that night, or whether they have an obligation to do so.
It's not about taking part in a dangerous sport at your own risk, riding alone, or not being prepared.
It's most definitely not about the spouse of a deceased rider who is trying to "cash in" on his misfortune.
The spouse claims that the Sheriffs department assured her and her family that a search will be done, only to be cancelled hours later.
The Sheriffs department who is in charge of dispatching the SAR team made a conscious decision that a search and rescue was possible. They would have been aware of the weather the days prior to the incident and the forecast for that night and the days following. They had all the information they needed at the time of the request and they willingly took on the responsibility knowing the SAR teams capabilities and the challenges they would face.
IF the Sheriffs department didn't have the information at hand to commit to the task the decision should not have been made at that time.
Any competent Emergency Management team knows that the difference between life and death can come down to minutes and even seconds. There was clear mismanagement in this situation and it drastically reduced the chance of survival of a fellow rider. Even worse was the attitudes of some Sheriffs department staff members who commented that the guy was probably out "cheating" on her, and as a "grown man" he should have no problem staving off hypothermia.
In this case it seems there was blatant disregard for a human life, the very thing the Sheriffs department is sworn to protect.
The Appellate Court said "Sheriff’s Department personnel (the deputies), through their actions, undertook the responsibility of rescuing the victim.” That included “using reasonable care not to increase the risk of harm.”
They failed. They should be held responsible. They won't make efforts to change on their own.
I hope the wife wins her case. The risk of another lawsuit should be enough financial incentive to make the needed changes in management.
  • + 1
 A year ago today we found our friend Julio deceased in the woods. We were surrounded by VOLUNTEERS when we found him. Blaming and suing communities and VOLUNTEERS for their efforts to save someone that put their life at risk is ridiculous. A wise man once said their is "No such thing as a small mountain" My friends and Julio's family are forever grateful to the VOLUNTEERS that helped find his body.
  • + 1
 God bless America !! And that sentiment is my own. I am sorry for your friend Julio and I am sorry for many other people’s losses, for sure devastating and sad beyond belief. I ride alone on numerous occasions, not solo climb Everest, but still ride alone. I am an adult, I take responsibilities for my outcome in any given situation that has been shaped by myself and fate with no other existing outside forces involved. I have been broken so hard on enduro motorcycles and have had to pretty much crawl for miles or ride with compound fractures to avoid bleeding out. And I have also been on the volunteer rescue side of it. Agreed, this the land of the free and the home of the brave. I know the risks, I take the chances, I know the rewards, I know the possibility of a severely negative outcome. It is not someone else’s fault or responsibility to make sure I am safe. If by chance that someone else is or was able to make me safe, than they are heros and extraordinary humans, not guaranteed, expected performers by job titles. Oh yeah and I have been doing this for 20 years before cell phones were a thing... so what would scenarios like this sad one have been like prior to that technological advancement? Would there be a liability ??
  • + 1
 All the trash talking
First and most importantly it's not a SAR members duty to die trying to rescue you- their safety comes before yours.

Second if you ride mountains and you don't have one of these $5 blankets- you're fool.
www.amazon.com/S-Survive-Outdoors-Longer-Reflective/dp/B00266H5VI/ref=sr_1_16_a_it?ie=UTF8&qid=1546641798&sr=8-16&keywords=emergency%2Bblanket&th=1
  • + 1
 I heard this news back then, on local tv, and read on internet too. I remember saying to myself what a lame... waiting till sunrise, really? So I'm not surprised the wife is suing.
I know the trail, mostly fire road, the area is open , not dense wooded area, only bushes with few trees in between. Barely any shade there. It's pretty tame area, even when it rained.
  • + 1
 In my state, and the surrounding states, we've had a number of similar suits. Mainly for skiiers and snowmobilers. IIRC the ruling was that there is no affirmative duty to save anybody. Also, public safety organizations have the right to assess conditions and make determinations based on their concerns of dangers to themselves. California is very different in the way they view the law though so who knows there. Joint and several liability is a bitch.
  • + 1
 Sadly these lawsuits also lead parks and private land owners to decide to ban sports such as mountain biking and avoid the lawsuit potentials. No win for either way in these cases. never ride alone, carry some gear in case stuck overnight if riding remotely and ensure someone knows your planned route etc.
  • + 1
 I feel sadness for the family not only to lose someone but to be put through that bullshit from the authorities. Is using going to help though as the money used for compensation could easily be used for better SAR services. However this is good reminder to us all to have Find my Friends or similar on your phone, prep for the ride and unforeseen eventualities (like what if you did have an accident during the day but the sun went down) and tell your nearest and dearest where you're riding.
  • + 1
 My wife’s coworker was riding alone in Chelan County WA at a small place called Echo Ridge. Nothing intense. Not a real “mountain” but high desert country. He started mid summer at 7pm for an after dinner ride. He crashed hitting his head on a rock the size of a baseball, straight middle of his forehead under the helmet. He walked with his bike about 50’ off the trail the wrong direction and collapsed. Unconscious for 6 hours find my iPhone worked to save him after the rescue team couldn’t find him “on the trail”. His father and mother found him. He’s alive but can not comprehend simple tasks any longer and is limited in his movements from the brain swelling. SAR did everything right, sometimes it just doesn’t work out for the best. If the family used find my iPhone around 9 when they were first worried he might have been out for only 3 hours, who knows. My story.
  • + 1
 Download TRAILFORKS app..there is an "emergency" section in the menu (lat/long plus auto dial 911)..AND there is a "share your location" feature...puts you right on a map. Basically you can provide a friend or emergency personnel the information that they need to save your ass!! ...If you can make a phone call, you can use this to help them get to you faster.
Oh and it has trails on it Smile

www.trailforks.com/apps/map/%20target
  • + 1
 But the guy could be disorientated because of a head concussion. A nice addition to Trailforks and/or any other GPS/App would be to incorporate an automated SMS trigger is theres no GPS movement for a designated time.I use Oruxmaps mostly because of that, I have it setup for 100meters/15min.
If triggered It has a 30 sec countdown to avoid false alarms.
  • + 1
 The rain held them back? I mean... how does ANYONE get rescued up here in the PNW? A hiker is lost in a DAMN AVALANCHE and the teams are out there faster than this. Hell we put some real dudes up in a Blackhawk near the top of Hood to rescue a climber in bad weather (one crashed). These guys can't get some dirt bike Bros to zip around up there? Seems like a department hasnt been doing their due diligence and neglected to setup procedures/partnerships with the right volunteer or first responder groups.
  • + 2
 Bit of a thought provoking (and somewhat lighthearted) video about the importance of search and rescue teams:
youtu.be/Hhrhx8X6ya4
  • + 1
 So a Search & Rescue team has no obligation to actually do a search and rescue? Why the F do they exist then? I guess they just like to play dress-up and hang out with their buddies?
  • + 1
 maybe full face is a good idea for solo rides. Always bring light jacket also. I'll be more prepared after reading of this tragedy.
  • + 2
 The title says it all "Lawsuit Claims"

Surprised Pb even took this angle. Sadly a fellow rider died doing our sport. RIP.
  • + 1
 Horrible story all around.

Just a reminder that whatsapp has a share location function that is very fast to get going (i.e. as easy as calling your friend/partner).
  • + 1
 Everyone getting out should be ready for a night out, and carrying satellite PLB or an equivalent when riding alone is prudent. SAR is a luxury, not your right.
  • + 3
 For the Lawyers, its about the almighty dollar !
  • + 2
 Dang. I'm gonna go back and watch The Revenant now so I can be reminded how fluffy soft our world has become.
  • + 1
 Rode alone in sketchy conditions, didn't take precautions against the weather, didn't make use of technologies like phone tracking apps. oh well.
  • + 1
 this is pretty much your daily reminder that cops dont have to help you. acab
  • + 1
 please perma-share your location with your significant other or a mtb buddy in google maps, everyone.
  • + 1
 Isn't one of the big tenets of SAR is that you should not put people additional people at risk?
  • + 1
 No, no. Not mine. Millom. Do you have a flamethrower? Or, just take its head off.
  • + 1
 I pack the ten essentials on every ride. Hopefully some of the folks reading this will pack them as well.
  • + 1
 Rule number one: never ride alone!
  • + 0
 So was this guy wearing a helmet?
  • + 0
 Funny, I do feel that the answer to this holds huge significance. Either way he should have been saved but it definitely makes you think!
  • + 3
 @Mwmg15: agreed and, sorry for this situation but with back packs going out of fashion for water bottles..
I allways ride with a jacket an small first aid kit including a survival blanket if I'm going into the woods.more water than I need
  • + 3
 @nojzilla: so now water bottles are a sign of being immorally irresponsible? Big Grin
  • + 2
 @WAKIdesigns: not if you bring two, one for you an one for any random de'hydrated newbs you come across. OH an biscuits for trail dogs Smile
  • - 1
 Incompetent government agencies should be held to task. Sounds like a legit pursuit.
  • + 1
 Nonsense. Personal responsibility.
  • + 1
 @Axxe: you may need to revisit phylosophy of law 101...
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: You need to get a clue about Town of Castle Rock v. Gonzales
  • + 1
 @Axxe: what I need to do is not care what a stranger on the internet thinks. Bye.
  • + 1
 @Golden-G: Exactly. You will look less of a fool.
  • + 1
 I never go out alone.
  • + 5
 I know a lot of people like you who need others to feel 'complete'. Try going out alone and actually discovering your inner thoughts.
  • - 2
 It's government shutdown is the USA, good luck getting rescued now! You can sue TRUMP! MAGA GAGA GOO GOO LUCK!
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