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SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department
Sunday October 27th, 2019 :: 04:15 p.m. PDT


Deputies on-board 40King3 rescue helicopter conducted a hoist rescue of a hiker who fell in Joshua Tree Nat'l park

DATE/TIME: Saturday, October 26, 2019, 9:05 p.m.

INCIDENT: Joshua Tree Night Hoist Rescue

LOCATION: Joshua Tree National Park

VICTIM: Sergio Betancur, 23 year old male a resident of Burbank

On Saturday, October 26th, Sergio Betancur went hiking with friends in Joshua Tree National Park. The group decided to hike off trail through the large boulders which cover the area. Betancur climbed along a large rock formation and fell as he jumped from one large rock to another. Betancur suffered a serious but non-life threatening injury to his leg as a result of the fall. Betancur's friends hiked to the entrance of the park to obtain cell service and placed a call to 911. San Bernardino County Fire Department and Joshua Tree National Park Rangers received the call and rushed to the scene.

Betancur's friends hiked with the emergency personnel to the general location, however, it took several hours to locate him. Due to the inability to locate Betancur right away, combined with the injury he sustained, a San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department patrol helicopter was requested to assist. Once Betancur was located by fire personnel, it was determined he would need to be hoisted out.

Sheriff’s patrol helicopter 40King3 arrived at the location and assessed the situation. Deputy Doug Brimmer acted as the pilot, Deputy Lauren Abernathy acted as the hoist operator, and Deputy Chris Mejia acted as the hoist rider during the rescue operation. The crew conducted this operation at night and utilized night vision equipment. Mejia was hoisted down to the rock and Betancur was secured into a rescue harness. Betancur was hoisted from the rock and transported via helicopter to a landing zone. Betancur was transported by ambulance to a local hospital.

Refer: Deputy L. Abernathy

Station: Emergency Operations Division, Aviation Unit

Phone No. 909 252-4100

Case No. MB192990122

JOHN McMAHON, Sheriff-Coroner
San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

SBSD - Morongo Basin Sheriff's Department
63665 Twentynine Palms Highway
Joshua Tree, CA 92252

Emergency: 9-1-1

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