Bikers injured; boaters jailed
Jackson Hole Fire/EMS helps load injured mountain biker Jacob Pitts into Eastern Idaho Medical Centerís AirMedic One on Saturday at the Stilson parking lot. Photo by Eliott Leuthold/Jackson Hole Daily View our entire photo gallery >>
By Miller N. Resor, Jackson Hole, Wyoming
June 18, 2012
A number of unrelated incidents involving mountain bikes and kayaks had emergency responders busy Saturday.
According to Teton County Search and Rescue incident commander Ed Fries, a mountain biker identified as Jacob Pitts was found unconscious on a mountain bike trail named Jimmy’s Mom on Teton Pass at 2:57 p.m Saturday.
Pitts was found by an unassociated group of bikers who called emergency services.
Fries said Pitts was unconscious to semi-unconscious throughout his rescue, which involved moving Pitts to an ambulance on Old Pass Road and then to a helicopter at the Stilson parking lot.
Pitts was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, where a nurse in the Intensive Care Unit on Sunday afternoon reported his condition as stable.
Due to Pitts’ unconscious state, Fries said rescuers treated the incident as a probable head injury. Pitts was wearing a helmet.
Earlier in the day, emergency personnel responded to another individual who had crashed his bike in Cache Creek. The biker, unidentified by press time Sunday, sustained a head injury while coming down The Staircase on Upper Hagen trail. The biker was transported to St. John’s Medical Center.
Also, two kayakers were arrested for boating under the influence around 3:37 p.m. Saturday on the Snake River.
A commercial raft guide reported three men being out of their kayaks near the confluence of Cottonwood Creek. When Grand Teton National Park rangers responded, they found one man stranded on the east bank of the river and the other two on the west bank.
Grand Teton spokeswoman Jackie Skaggs said the arrests were handled in a similar fashion to drunk driving arrests. The men were asked to com-plete a field sobriety test. Two of them failed. The men were transported to the Jackson police station.
Skaggs said the safety of the boaters, other river users and rescue personnel are the reason the park must from time to time enforce alcohol levels on park waterways.
“People drink and drive, people boat and drink,” she said. “There are times we encounter people under the influence on the lake. There are times we encounter people on the river. There are times we encounter people on the road. We have a responsibility to keep people safe.”