We know the old saying that you should never wheel alone is good advice, but sometimes you can’t find a buddy with another rig for a quick run. The unfortunate truth is when something like what happened to this guy near Cajon Pass in the San Bernardino, California area can happen. A Jeep rolled on what looks to be a fairly technical trail, pinning a man underneath.
Fortunately, someone was around to call 911, although it isn’t clear if that person was a passenger in the Jeep or another rig passing by. Authorities had to use a helicopter and UTVs to get to the scene since traditional rescue vehicles couldn’t even begin to reach the trail.
Firefighters had to be airlifted in along with equipment. Working with unstable ground and leaking fuel, they were able to stabilize the victim and move the Jeep enough to get him out from underneath. From there the victim was airlifted out and taken to a hospital.
According to San Bernadino County Fire, the rescue operation took several hours. We’re sure it was a scary situation for everyone involved.
In photos, we can see the Jeep Wrangler had its doors removed, which is common. It’s not clear how the adult male became trapped underneath. He might have been outside acting as a spotter and got too close as the Jeep tipped.
What’s also possible is he was inside and wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. We know some off-roaders think seatbelts or harnesses are for wimps, but when your rig goes tumbling like this or even worse, the last thing you want to do is get thrown off a mountainside or be pinned underneath.
Keep in mind this is speculation – we weren’t there and details haven’t been released, so it’s possible this man was trapped under the Jeep another way. But this incident is an excellent reminder to stay strapped in while off-roading and that if you’re spotting, leave some distance between you and the rig just in case.
Images via San Bernadino County Fire