Mountain bike rider crashes in Bear Claw Poppy Reserve, gets flown to hospital

This February 2017 file photo shows a rescue of a rider who was injured while riding near the Green Valley Loop, St. George, Utah, Feb. 25, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

WASHINGTON COUNTY — A mountain bike rider was injured on a trail near St. George Saturday and was flown to the hospital after he said could no longer feel his legs.

Shortly before 1 p.m., emergency personnel were dispatched on report of a man who crashed and sustained a possible head injury while mountain biking in the Bear Claw Poppy Reserve on the Green Valley Loop Trail.

The rider, a man in his 30s, was with a group of other riders when the crash occurred.

Green Valley Loop trail in the Bear Claw Poppy Reserve where a man was injured mountain biking Saturday, Washington County, Utah, Sept. 30, 2017 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Among the riders was an anesthesiologist who helped to stabilize the injured rider while rescuers were en route.

Intermountain Life Flight was dispatched to the area to assist after the rider reported he was having difficulty feeling anything below his waist, Washington County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Liaison Darrell Cashin said.

“That is indicative of a possible neck or back injury, but that could be temporary because it’s a shock to the spinal cord,” Cashin said, “but still we didn’t want to take any chances.”

Once rescuers arrived, the rider was placed on a backboard to immobilize him and reduce chance of further injury. He was then loaded into the medical helicopter and flown to Dixie Regional Medical Center for evaluation and treatment.

According to statements made at the scene, the man came upon a steep downward slope while riding along the trail and started to pick up speed as he descended the hill, Cashin said. Nearing the bottom, the rider lost control of the mountain bike and flew over the handlebars before hitting the ground head-first.

Washington County Search and Rescue teams were joined by St. George Fire Department, Gold Cross Ambulance and Intermountain Life Flight who responded and assisted with the scene.

Located approximately 6 miles west of St. George, the Green Valley Loop is several miles long and begins at Canyon View Drive in Green Valley and ends at Navajo Drive in the Bloomington neighborhood of St. George; it is part of the Bear Claw Poppy Reserve.

This report is based on statements from emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

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2 Comments

  • darkgoddess October 1, 2017 at 8:00 am

    Sounds like he was going down the Three Fingers of Death portion. I do hope he’s okay and recovers without any residual effects.

  • Caveat_Emptor October 1, 2017 at 8:52 am

    Unfortunate event, within an otherwise underwhelming trail system. There are only one or two spots that this could happen, within the whole area, and he found one.
    His helmet would have prevented skull damage, but C-spine trauma was still a factor. Great to have a medical professional within the group……

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