Firefighters using the Jaws of Life extricated a Las Vegas, Nevada, man from his vehicle after a serious rollover accident in Arches National Park.
The National Park Service received a report from the Grand County Dispatch on June 4 of an accident in the park that occurred about 3 miles from the entrance, said Melissa Hulls, supervisory park ranger of the law enforcement at Arches National Park. She was first to arrive on scene, followed by Grand County EMS, Moab Valley Fire Department and a medical helicopter.
Hulls said the 34-year-old man suffered from multiple traumas and was crushed “up past his knee.”
“Other visitors stopped to help and they helped me to pry the door off to get to him to give him medical care,” Hulls said. She said she worked quickly to record his vitals and stabilize him. “He was in a lot of pain.”
Moab Valley Fire Department “helped to get the rest of the vehicle off him,” she said.
First responders then carried him up to the roadway and a medical helicopter landed on the park road to transport him to St. Mary’s Medical Center in Grand Junction, Colorado.
Crews responded to the accident just after sunset, a time when a lot of people have taken their sunset pictures and are driving out of the park. Hulls said off-duty park officers came to help with traffic control.
“We had to safely get everyone around the accident while making sure we had a landing zone for the helicopter,” she said.
Hulls said the man was traveling northbound into the park and was between the La Sal Mountain Viewpoint and Courthouse Towers when he traveled off the roadway without braking. He was the sole occupant of the car.
“The driver admitted to driving too fast,” Hulls said. The speed limit is 35 mph in the area where the accident occurred, but Hulls said the man didn’t know what speed he was going when the accident occurred.
The man’s dog suffered injuries when it was ejected from the vehicle during the accident, she said. Witnesses to the accident took the man’s dog to Mill Creek Animal Hospital for treatment.
The man and his dog have both been released.
“It was a joint effort by all agencies involved. It was great teamwork,” Hulls said.