OAKHURST — What began as a day hike in the foothills with family ended with a rescue mission when a young woman suffered an injury and had to be transported from the trail along Lewis Creek.
At 1:34 p.m. today, a call came into 911 that a woman had fallen and broken her ankle in the Corlieu Falls area.
The 35-year-old Madera resident was hiking with other family members when she apparently took a wrong step on the trail, seriously injuring her leg.
Unable to put any weight on that leg, she required the assistance of first responders to bring her out for medical attention.
The daughter of the victim reportedly had to hike up a steep incline to get cell service and call for help.
Three Madera County Sheriff’s deputies, four Search & Rescue volunteers, five Cal Fire and five Madera County firefighters, along with Sierra Ambulance personnel responded to the Lewis Creek trailhead parking lot on Highway 41 north of Oakhurst.
At 1:45 p.m. rescuers began hiking in and covered the estimated .3 mile trek to reach the patient in about eight minutes. The trip out was going to take a bit more time.
The injured woman was evaluated, stabilized and prepared for transport. Just after 2:30 p.m. rescuers began the hike out, transporting the patient on a Stokes litter that sits on top of a big wheel.
The rescue team reached the ambulance just after 3 p.m., and the woman was transported to Community Regional Medical Center. The extent of her injury is not known.
The entire operation from dispatch to ambulance took less than 90 minutes.
This is the second rescue this year in the Lewis Creek area, and Sgt. Joseph Wilder says that in this case it wasn’t the water, it was the trail.
“The trail is very steep, and we have a lot of instances where people get hurt just by taking a wrong step,” says Wilder. He also notes that bringing someone out takes a bit of time due to the relatively steep trail and a few sections of switchbacks. “Maneuvering a litter can be a challenge.”
Lewis Creek comes in second for rescue missions in the area, right behind Angel Falls above Bass Lake where people are often injured in the water and the dynamics of a rescue are much different.