Injured hiker airlifted from Mecca’s Painted Canyon

MECCA — A person who was injured while hiking at Mecca’s Painted Canyon was airlifted from the scene after spending about four hours stranded in the remote and hard to access area Sunday, May 12. Yesterday’s rescue happened near Painted Canyon and Box Canyon roads, according to fire officials.


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More than two dozen firefighters from five engine companies, along with law enforcement officers and other emergency personnel, were first alerted to the inaccessible rescue shortly before 1:30 p.m., after receiving reports of a victim who had suffered an unspecified “lower extremity injury,” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire spokesperson April Newman later reported in an incident log.

When officials arrived in the area, they hiked in to the victim’s location and quickly determined they would need additional resources and assistance in rescuing the injured hiker. CHP’s H60 was then requested to assist in hoisting the victim from the canyon.

Firefighters work their way into Painted Canyon where a victim was eventually airlifted after suffering a “lower extremity injury.” Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Department photo

At around 4:40 p.m., Newman updated that firefighters were “still working to move the patient to an area for hoist extrication.” She also estimated officials would remain committed at the scene for at least two more hours, as firefighters cautiously moved the patient to an area where CHP’s H60 could safely perform a high-angle rope rescue.

According to Newman, the victim was successfully extricated from the canyon around 5:30 p.m., four hours after the emergency was first reported. The hiker was then flown to a waiting ground ambulance and transported to an area hospital with injuries Newman described as moderate.

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Trevor Montgomery, 47, moved last year to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source and Shasta County News Source. Additionally, he writes for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers, Valley News, The Valley Chronicle, and Anza Valley Outlook; as well as Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County and Mountain Echo in Shasta County.

Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.

Trevor has been married for more than 28 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 15 – but soon to be 16 – grandchildren.

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