By Miriam Raftery
Photo: ASTREA helicopter, file photo
July 10, 2018 (Alpine) – A truck driver trapped in a ravine for over 24 hours was rescued by the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team shortly before 5:30 a.m. The search began after Alpine Sheriff’s station deputies checked on an overdue big rig; the driver’s GPS led them to his truck parked near the I-8 viewpoint parking lot with engine running and headlights on.
The driver’s cell phone and wallet were in the cab of the truck. Fearing he may have had a medical emergency and fallen down the steep viewpoint ravine, deputies asked for help from a Border Patrol tracking down, Sheriff’s helicopter and Sheriff’s search and rescue unit.
After a 30-minute search, the ASTREA helicopter located the driver at the very bottom of the ravine, near a creek bed. “He had been stuck in the ravine for more than 24 hours and had no means to call for help,” said Sergeant Howard Kluge.
Alpine Fire Protection District and CAL FIRE personnel hiked down into the ravine and treated the driver for exposure and dehydration. They were also hoisted out of the steep area by ASTREA.
The driver was taken to a hospital for further treatment.
The rescue came just days after the West Fire scored over 500 acres in Alpine including areas along I-8.