(Gallatin County Mont.) On Friday 07-11-14 at 1832 hours a 50 year-old male from Bozeman called 911 and reported he fell and injured himself, possibly breaking his collarbone, while mountain biking Moody Creek east and north from Stone Creek North of Bozeman. SAR personnel responded with teams entering both Stone Creek and Olson Creek in an attempt to find the man. The first team left Stone Creek trailhead at 1955 hours. At 2019 hours Summit Air Ambulance was contacted to assist in locating the man from the air. Seven minutes after they lifted off the ground they spotted the injured biker. As there was not a satisfactory landing zone, they directed a ground team in who assisted the man down a trail to the SAR ATVs. Rather than ride down, the man chose to continue walking, with the assistance of a SAR member, to the main Stone Creek Road where an ambulance was stationed. The man appeared to have suffered a broken collar bone. He refused transport from AMR and drove to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital in his own vehicle.
On Saturday, July 12th, at 10:19 am, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office, the Big Sky and Helicopter Divisions of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, and the Big Sky Fire Department responded to a backcountry rescue on Buck Ridge south of Big Sky. A 22 year old male riding an ATV struck a tree approximately seven miles west of the Doe Creek trailhead. The impact caused significant injuries to the man’s head and upper torso. The man, who was in substantial pain, walked about half a mile from the scene of the collision before he collapsed. The man was found by other recreationalists who contacted the Gallatin County Dispatch Center by cell phone.
Rescuers responded to the scene on a motorcycle and a specialized ATV towing a rescue ambulance sled. Rescuers provided first aid and began transporting the injured man back to the Doe Creek trailhead. While the injured man was en route to the trailhead, a rescuer separated from the group, picked up a paramedic from the Big Sky Fire Department for extra medical support, and returned to the injured man for the duration of the transport to the trailhead. Due to the man’s injuries, Summit Air responded to the trailhead to pick up the man and transport him to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital.
Rescuers and other recreationalists that observed the scene of the crash stated the man’s injuries would have been much more significant had he not been wearing a helmet with a face shield.
Sheriff Brain Gootkin would like to remind recreationalists riding in the backcountry to always ride within their skill level, wear the proper safety equipment, and ride in a group. Always carry a means of communication to summon help if you run into trouble.