Badly injured motocross rider successfully rescued

Image Credit: COSAR

KELOWNA - A motocross rider had to be rescued from the bush yesterday after he was impaled in the thigh by a tree branch.

Central Okanagan Search and Rescue was called on by B.C. Ambulance to help rescue the rider. The 36-year-old man was riding with a group of friends when he came around a curve and struck a small tree branch that stabbed into his leg. One of the first responders was a nurse who stabilized him at the scene.

Trouble was getting the rider out. Rescue spokesperson Duane Tresnich says 12 team members arrived to help with ATVs. They considered bringing in a team from Penticton SAR for a high line rescue but it was called off when a B.C. Air ambulance became available. 

"Our members determined that the male could be extracted to the landing zone (where) the air ambulance was waiting," he said. "It was a slow process to get the male down to the landing point as the injury was very severe."

They pulled him in a road toboggan towed behind an ATV. The man was taken to Kelowna General Hospital for treatment. 

Rescuers were nearly called out again for another rider who ran out of gas, perhaps from the same group. The rider was able to get out on his own though.

"COSAR would like to remind people riding in the bush to always ride in pairs. This man is very fortunate as he was riding in a group and they knew what to do," Tresnich says. "We would also like to thank the public that came forward and assisted us in this emergency."

To contact the reporter for this story, email Julie Whittet at or call (250)718-0428.

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