Tag Archives: Mono County Sheriff’s Department

Unlucky Day at Shamrock Lake

Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team aids an ill hiker at Shamrock Lake

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Office

On Monday, August 3, 2015, at approximately 10:20am, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call regarding an ill hiker at Shamrock Lake.

A female hiker, age 52, of Ventura, California, and her family came to the Eastern Sierra for vacation. The family hiked to Shamrock Lake for an overnight camping trip when the female hiker began experiencing severe altitude sickness symptoms. The altitude sickness prevented her from hiking out of the Shamrock Lake area. Family members hiked out and called 911 along Hwy 120W when they obtained cell phone service.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to aid the ill hiker. Seven SAR Team members staged at the Saddlebag Lake Resort. The ground team, along with Mono County Paramedics, was transported across Saddlebag Lake via water taxi. The ground team was then able to continue the hike up to Shamrock Lake where they met the ill hiker at her campsite. The ill hiker was transported via wheeled litter back to the Saddlebag Lake Resort where she was met by Mono County Paramedics for evaluation and then transported to Mammoth Hospital for treatment.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team thanks the staff of the Saddlebag Lake Resort for their assistance in this operation.

Shamrock Lake SAR_1
photo courtesy of the Mono County Sheriffs department
Shamrock Lake SAR_2
photo courtesy of the Mono County Sheriffs department
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Bear in Crowley

There’s a new “resident” in the Crowley Lake area

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer, Mono County Sheriffs Department

There is a new local “resident” in the community of Crowley Lake. This is the mountains and bears do share our space.  Due to the current drought conditions, it is anticipated that bears may be forced to seek out food other than their native diet.

Please remember some simple tips to lessen the likelihood of a bear encounter: to avoid vehicle break-ins, do not leave food, wrappers, gum, mints, ice chests, lunch boxes, or anything that smells like food, etc. in your vehicle; do not leave outdoor trash cans open, unattended and unsecured; use proper bear proof food storage containers; do not leave out any type of food including pet food and bird seed; make sure all BBQ’s and outdoor cooking areas are kept clean to prevent problems with bears; and, if you accidentally come “face to face” with a bear, slowly step back and make as much noise as possible to alert the bear of your presence. Also, slow down when driving on local streets and roadways to avoid any potential accidents with wildlife crossing the road. These simple tips are for your safety and the safety of our local bears.

 If these simple tips do not work, and your safety is still at risk, or you simply see the new local “resident” wandering in your neighborhood, please do not hesitate to call the Mono County Sheriff’s Office at (760) 932-7549 ext. 7 for non-emergencies, or 911 for emergencies, or the California Department of Fish and Wildlife locally at (760) 873-1171 or via their dispatch at (951) 443-2969. Please do not take matters into your own hands. Please be safe and cognizant of wildlife in all communities throughout Mono County!

cover photo by Crowley resident Julie Estridge

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Mono County Search and Rescue

Orange man Lost, now he is found

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer, Mono County Sheriffs Department

On the evening of Monday, July 13, 2015, at approximately 8:40PM, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office received a call regarding an overdue day hiker near the Sherwin Creek campground.

A male day hiker, age 44, from Orange, California, set out on a day hike around 2:30PM. The hiker wasn’t expected to be out for long, and when he didn’t return when he said he would, the family became concerned. The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to help in the search for the overdue day hiker near the Sherwin Creek campground. After securing the overdue hikers campsite for tracks, two SAR teams started searching nearby dirt roads and spoke with nearby campers to see if anyone had seen the overdue hiker.

The hiker had walked to a familiar place but had found himself turned around when he tried to return to his campsite. Realizing he was lost, he tried to hale down some motorists and knocked on an RV’s door but no one would help. Eventually he walked towards a light which put him at the closed-up YWCA Camp. The caretaker of the camp had previously spoken with one of the SAR teams, so when she found the overdue hiker, she gave him food and water, as he was very dehydrated and shivering, and called 911. The SAR team returned to the YWCA Camp and safely returned the overdue hiker to his family.

The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue Team uses this successful rescue as a reminder to always let someone know where you are going and when you expect to return, even if it is just for a small day hike or walk.

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Highway 395 Head on crash

Crash Sends four to the Hospital

The list of serious traffic collisions continues to grow.  The most recent accident occurred Wednesday morning on highway 395 in Mono County just south of Walker.  Two Ford pickup trucks collided head on sending all four occupants to Reno’s Renown Medical Center.

The California Highway Patrol Bridgeport office released the accident report:

On Wednesday, July 8, 2015, at approximately 8:35 A. M., Richard Alent ( age 40, of Reno) was driving a 2013 Ford pickup truck southbound on US-395, approximately 2.5 miles south of East Side Lane.  At the same time, Henry Trammell ( age 73, of Bakersfield)  was driving a 2015 Ford pickup northbound on US-395.  Mr. Alent allowed the Ford pickup he was driving to cross-over the painted solid double yellow lines into the northbound lane directly into the path of Mr. Trammell’s vehicle.  The preliminary investigation indicates neither driver was able to take evasive action, and the vehicles collided head on.   The vehicles came to rest blocking both lanes of US-395.  As a result, US-395 was closed for approximately two hours to allow for the removal of occupants, vehicles and the cleanup of the roadway.

All four individuals involved in the collision were transported by helicopter to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada for treatment of moderate to major injuries.  Alent suffered major injuries, passenger Jessica Pedro, age 41 of Santa Rosa suffered moderate injuries.  Henry Trammell received moderate injuries with his passenger 76-year old Bakersfield resident Marcia Trammell suffering moderate injuries.  Officers from the California Highway Patrol Bridgeport Area office responded to the scene and are conducting the collision investigation.  Mono County Paramedics, Mono County Sheriff’s Office personnel, Mono County Animal Control personnel, Antelope Valley Volunteer Fire Department personnel, and California Department of Transportation personnel responded to the collision scene to assist.

cover photo from the Mono County Sheriffs department

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Man arrested after June Lake Incident

Mission Viejo Man arrested Sunday

Mono County Sheriffs department statement:

On the morning of Sunday, July 5, 2015, at approximately 8:35am, the Mono County Sheriff’s Dispatch Center received a call regarding a possible assault with a firearm that occurred the previous night in the June Lake area.

On the evening of Saturday, July 4, 2015, at approximately 10:00pm, Mr. Julian Wendell, age 30, of Mission Viejo, California, and a male and a female, both of June Lake, were involved in an altercation at their campsite in the June Lake area.  Mr. Wendell drove the male and the female to the campsite after spending some time in the Town of June Lake. During the drive to the campsite, Mr. Wendell was driving in an aggressive manner and was confronted by both the male and the female. When they arrived at the campsite, Mr. Wendell became aggressive and pushed the female as they both exited the vehicle. The male met Mr. Wendell at the front of the vehicle where the two began to argue and got into a physical altercation. Mr. Wendell then went into his trailer and brought out a handgun. He hit the male in the head with the butt of the handgun. Mr. Wendell then fired several rounds into the air. The male and the female were able to leave the campsite where the male was taken to Mammoth Hospital for treatment of his injuries and released. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office was called to investigate the incident.

On the morning of Sunday, July 5, 2015, Mono County Sheriff’s deputies, with the assistance of the California Highway Patrol, located Mr. Wendell and he was arrested without incident. Three firearms were recovered from Mr. Wendell’s trailer.

Julian Wendell, age 30, of Mission Viejo, California, was arrested for suspicion of assault with a firearm on a person, willful infliction of corporal injury, discharging a firearm in grossly negligent manner, and drawing, exhibiting, or using firearm. He is currently in custody at the Mono County Jail. All charges for Mr. Wendell are pending with the Mono County District Attorney’s Office.

Written and prepared by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

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FBI investigating June Lake letter

Suspicious letter delivered to resident in June Lake

Mono County Sheriffs Department statement:

On Wednesday, June 24th, 2015, at approximately 5:00pm, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a call from a resident of June Lake regarding a suspicious letter that was received.

A resident of the community of June Lake received a suspicious letter containing a white powdery substance. The resident contacted the Mono County Sheriff’s Office requesting assistance. Deputies and Mono County EMS were dispatched to the residence in June Lake. Several people, including a first responder, were potentially exposed to the white powder and were transported via ambulance to Mammoth Hospital for observation.

A Unified Command was established with Mono County EMS, June Lake Fire Department, Mammoth Lakes Fire Department, Mono County Health Department and Mono County Sheriff’s Office. Decontamination and proper Hazmat procedures were followed and all clothing and materials were secured for further analysis. The Mono County Sheriff’s Office requested the assistance of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) regional laboratory to assist in the testing of the white powder. Preliminary test results from the FBI laboratory show the white powder is not a hazardous substance. Final test results are still pending.

We would like to remind the public that any suspicious letter or package could be a serious threat. If you receive anything out of the ordinary or suspicious, contact law enforcement immediately and leave the letter or package alone until authorities arrive.

We will continue to provide updates on this case as they become available. – Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer

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Sparks Woman killed in Saturday Crash

Accident on highway 395 near Crowley Lake leaves one dead, two with serious injuries

CHP Accident report:

On Saturday, June 20, 2015, at approximately 8:42 am, California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bridgeport Area officers were dispatched to a solo vehicle rollover collision on US-395 southbound, north of Crowley Lake Drive.  Personnel from the CHP Bishop Area Office, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Emergency Medical Services, and Long Valley Fire Department also responded to the scene to assist.

The preliminary investigation indicates Sherry Johnson, age 53 of Sparks Nevada,  was driving a 2005 Ford F-250 southbound on US-395, north of Crowley Lake Drive.  For unknown reasons, the driver allowed the vehicle to drift onto the right shoulder of the roadway where it collided with two metal paddle markers and a highway sign.  The vehicle then veered across all southbound lanes and into the center divide, where it overturned and came to rest on its wheels.  The driver of the vehicle (Sherry Johnson) was pronounced deceased at the scene.  Two passengers in the vehicle were transported by ambulance to Mammoth Hospital, and airlifted to Renown Regional Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.  Passengers include 46-year old Sparks resident Donald Karwoski and a 12-year old male from Reno.  The preliminary investigation suggests fatigue may have been a factor in the collision.  Officers from the CHP Bridgeport Area are handling the collision investigation.  The Mono County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation.

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Fatal Crash near Bridgeport

Tuesday Head On collision kills one

Highway 395 north of Bridgeport was closed in both directions Tuesday after a fatal crash.  While the investigation continues, the California Highway Patrols initial report is showing the head on collision was the result of a southbound 2015 Nissan Versa crossing the center line into the northbound lane.  The crash remains under investigation.

The CHP accident report.

On Tuesday, June 9, 2015, at approximately 10:13 P.M., California Highway Patrol (CHP) Bishop Communication Center received a report  of a head on traffic collision on US-395, north of Bridgeport. Upon Arrival, CHP officers located a Nissan Versa, Ford Fusion, and Freightliner box truck blocking both northbound and southbound traffic lanes of US-395.

The driver of the Nissan (Wesley Chen, 26, of Monterey Park) sustained fatal injuries as a result of the collision. The two passengers in the Nissan(both age 26 of San Diego, and Fremont CA) received major injuries, and were transported via Care Flight to Renown Medical Center in Reno, Nevada.

The driver of the Freightliner box truck (46 year old Ronnie Varela of Carson City) sustained minor injuries and will seek his own medical care. The driver and passenger of the Ford Fusion (85 year old Kenneth Bryant, 77 year old Esther Bryant of Gardnerville) were uninjured.

Bridgeport Fire Department, Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Paramedics and California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) all responded to the scene to provide assistance. Preliminary information indicates the Nissan Versa crossed the center line of the roadway into the northbound lane, colliding with the Freightliner box truck. The exact sequence of the events and the cause of the collision remain under investigation by the CHP. The Mono County Sheriff-Corner Office is conducting the death investigation.

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Sunday Fatal Crash

Fatal Crash on Laurel Canyon Road

The Mono County Sheriffs department is confirming the identity of the man killed Sunday in a single vehicle accident.  The Crash occurred on Sunday just minutes after 6pm claiming the life of Mark Jacoby, of Fresno.

According to the California Highway Patrol Bridgeport office, on Sunday, June 7th,  at approximately 6:03 pm, a 2007 Toyota 4Runner was traveling eastbound from Laurel Lakes on an unimproved U.S. Forest Service dirt road.  The road at this location is steep, narrow, and has multiple sharp turns.  For an unknown reason, the Toyota traveled off of the road and down a steep, rocky mountain side, where it overturned several times.  The driver was not wearing his seatbelt and as a result, he was ejected from the vehicle. The driver sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased at the scene.

Two dogs were in the vehicle.  One dog survived and was transported by Mono County Animal Control for treatment. Personnel from the California Highway Patrol, Mono County Medic 3 , Mono County Sheriff’s Office, Mono County Search and Rescue, and Department of Fish and Wildlife responded to the scene.  Officers from the California Highway Patrol Bridgeport Area office are handling the collision investigation.  The Mono County Sheriff’s Office is conducting the death investigation.

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Search And Rescue aids backpacker

Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue helps injured man

Written and reported by: Jennifer M. Hansen, Public Information Officer, Mono County Sheriffs Department

On Sunday, May 31, 2015, at approximately 11:15am, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center received a 911 call regarding an injured backpacker near Fern Lake, in Madera County, about 5 miles southwest of Devil’s Postpile.

A couple from Woodside, CA, in the Bay Area, was backpacking from Devil’s Postpile to Fern Lake. While at the creek crossing, at Fern Lake, the husband fell sustaining an injury to his right knee. He was unable to put weight on his knee without a great deal of pain. He called 911 and requested a medical evacuation. The Mono County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was dispatched to assist the injured backpacker.

SAR Team members staged at Minaret Vista and ground teams hiked to Fern Lake with a litter and equipment to assist the injured backpacker. The ground teams put in 10 miles round trip in difficult terrain, with downed trees blocking the trail, and a night time stream crossing. The SAR Team located the injured backpacker. An EMT patient assessment determined the backpacker would not be able to walk and was evacuated by litter, arriving at Devil’s Postpile around 11:00pm. The backpacker signed a medical waiver to seek his own medical treatment.

Recently, the Mono County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) Team held their annual recruitment. New candidate members were in the field for the first time on this long and difficult evacuation.

cover photo by Nick Holt

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