Baker County – On May 21, 2023, at approximately 3:22 p.m., Baker County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a report of a side-by-side crash with injuries. The reporting party stated that they were located on private property near the elk feeding station on Powder River Lane.
The Baker County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue Team was activated, and members responded to the area with a side-by-side specially equipped with a patient litter. Upon arrival, the driver, identified as Mike Peterson (67 yoa of La Grande, OR), had applied a rough splint to his leg. SAR members removed the splint and reapplied another. The passenger, identified as Debbie Peterson (64 yoa of La Grande, OR), was also treated with a splint for an ankle injury. Mike Peterson was packaged and loaded onto the side-by-side litter. Both parties were transported to a nearby campground to be evaluated by a Metro West Ambulance crew.
After medically evaluating both parties, medics transported the driver to Grande Ronde Hospital. Sheriff Ash transported the passenger to Grande Ronde Hospital as well.
Upon investigation, it was determined the side-by-side was traveling on a logging road when the driver attempted to engage a compression brake and lost control of the machine. It crashed into sapling trees along the road, ultimately causing injury to the driver’s leg.
Baker County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by Baker County Search and Rescue and Metro West Ambulance. We would also like to thank Oregon State Parks and Recreation for their generous grant award which allowed for the purchase of the Can-Am side-by-side with specially fabricated patient litter. This equipment is extremely beneficial when transporting injured parties as demonstrated during this rescue.