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Off-Road Adventure Takes a Dangerous Turn

Rescue Profile: Frank and Sam
Case #: 9925



Frank and three of his friends got together for a day of off-road riding in the California forest. The friends were all expert quad riders, knowing both their vehicles and the terrain. With packed lunches and dressed for cool weather, off they went to explore.


Along the way, they encountered a large log and decided to ride across it. Frank successfully crossed first, followed by Sam. While crossing, Sam accidentally hit his throttle wide open. His quad bucked sideways and Sam's friends watched in disbelief as he fell 70 feet.


The three friends ran to the edge and shouted down to Sam to determine if he was ok. Sam screamed that his left shoulder hurt, as he attempted to move his arms and legs in slow movements. Frank slid down to sit with Sam as the others worked at getting the quad out of the canyon. Thirty minutes later, the crew proved to be successful in getting the quad onto the road. Sam, however, was another story.


Sam indicated that he had no feeling in his legs. Frank immediately activated the SOS button on his SPOT device, which alerted the GEOS International Response Coordination Center. In the meantime, Frank made several attempts to get cell service, but was unable to establish a solid connection.


Rescue crews showed up in approximately 20 minutes to assist Sam. He was transported to the hospital, where he soon learned he had a broken neck. Sam is on the road to a complete recovery (thanks to SPOT and the rescue teams: Cal/Star 6, Eldorado County Fire, Pioneer Fire and US Forest Service Utility 63).


For Frank, this experience proved the value of owning a SPOT device. "It provided a service that is worth more than its weight in gold. For those who enjoy recreating where cell phones don't work, this item is a must on the list of items one takes on any adventure."


Special thanks to Frank Showers, Retired Sacramento Metro Fire, for sharing his story.

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