MOUNTAIN CENTER – Three people were injured and one person was airlifted after their vehicle went over the side of the road and down into a ravine Sept. 19. The accident happened on Highway 74 west of McCall Park Road in Mountain Center.
The first of several 911 calls reporting the accident came in to Riverside County emergency dispatchers at about 7:33 a.m. However, rescuers and emergency first responders initially had trouble finding the actual location of the vehicle.
Cal Fire/Riverside County firefighters with the assistance of Idyllwild Fire Protection District responded to multiple reports of the vehicle that went over the side. They were assisted by Riverside County sheriff’s deputies and California Highway Patrol officers in their search for the vehicle.
In all, 15 firefighters from three engine companies and one truck company responded to the reported accident, according to Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Public Information Officer April Newman.
When rescuers eventually found the location of the accident, a CHP officer reported finding one vehicle that went about 40 feet over the side of the roadway, according to a California Highway Patrol incident log.
Firefighters found there had been three victims inside the vehicle. Two victims were able to exit the vehicle on their own; however, one victim was reportedly trapped inside the wrecked vehicle and required extrication.
Firefighters were able to safely extricate the trapped victim, who suffered major injuries, according to Newman.
“There was a total of three patients. One patient with major injuries, one patient with moderate injuries, and one patient with minor injuries,” according to Newman.
The victim who sustained major injuries and had to be extricated from the vehicle was transported by Mercy Air Ambulance to an area hospital.
“The two other patients with moderate and minor injuries were transported by ground (ambulances) to area hospitals,” Newman explained.
A tow truck was called to the scene to winch out the wrecked vehicle.
No further information was immediately available regarding the status of the three victims.