Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Snowmobiler injured in Apollo Basin crash

Accident occurred with rescue personnel close at hand

Express Staff Writer

    A Blaine County man escaped serious injury when he crashed a snowmobile Saturday afternoon in Apollo Basin in the Baker Creek area north of Ketchum.
    Blaine County Sheriff Gene Ramsey identified the man as 24-year-old Jeremy Lato, who lives in the Ketchum area. Ramsey said Lato was fortunate because Blaine County Search and Rescue, the Sun Valley Fire Department and U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officers were conducting a training exercise in the area when the accident occurred.
    “While they were training, they came across this snowmobile accident,” the sheriff said.
    Ramsey said the accident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. when Lato was driving a 2007 Ski-Doo snowmobile.
    “He was basically traveling across the slope on Apollo Basin and hit some buried avalanche debris that caused him to crash.”
    The sheriff said Lato sustained facial lacerations and injured his elbow. However, the sheriff said that Lato was also going into shock and was further fortunate that a Sun Valley Heliski helicopter was in the area dropping off clients and was able to be quickly contacted by Search and Rescue personnel.
    “So they were on the scene in less than five minutes,” Ramsey said. “So they were able to lift him out of there, transport him to the Baker Creek parking lot, where he met some friends who took him to the hospital. The sheriff said Lato was treated and released at St. Luke’s Wood River hospital.
    Ramsey said Lato was “doubly fortunate because of the training exercise and the helicopter being in the vicinity at the time of the accident.
    “You talk about being at the right place at the right time—that’s the place to have an accident.”

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