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Man rescued after being pinned under crashed ATV

The Classic Air Medical helicopter, stationed at Southwest Memorial Hospital, responded to an ATV crash in the Sage Hen area Monday evening. (Courtesy Montezuma County Search and Rescue)
Multiple agencies responded; Southwest Memorial helicopter spots crash from air

An elderly man who crashed his ATV and became pinned underneath for several hours was rescued Monday evening in the Sage Hen area.

The man, reportedly in his 80s, suffered injuries and was flown to the hospital, rescue officials said. His name and extent of his injuries were not available.

When he did not return from an ATV ride from a nearby home, his wife reported him missing. He requires oxygen and had a tank with him.

A search and rescue effort was launched about 8 p.m., said Montezuma County Sheriff Steve Nowlin.

Multiple agencies participated, including Montezuma County Search and Rescue team, Sheriff’s Office, Dolores Volunteer Fire Department and Classic Air Medical helicopter from Southwest Memorial Hospital.

Neighbors also assisted in the search effort, including a man who is an EMT.

The man was riding solo when he crashed his ATV near the end of Couhty Road X at McPhee Reservoir.

“He was pinned underneath for a long while,” Nowlin said. “It’s fortunate he was found in time.”

A ground search initially began around the Great Cut Dike, where the man had said he was going to earlier in the day, said Montezuma County Search and Rescue Incident Commander Vicki Shaffer.

“The area is so vast, when we did not find him initially, we called Classic Air to assist,” she said.

The helicopter arrived and quickly spotted the overturned ATV about 9:15 p.m. to the east of the initial search area. He was in a ditch under the ATV near the banks of the dry lake bed. The helicopter landed, and medics provided emergency care.

Dolores Volunteer Fire Department crews arrived and set up a crane and stabilizing rigging to lift the ATV off of the man, said Chief Mike Zion.

Fire and rescue crews extricated the patient, and he was then flown to a hospital, but officials were not sure which one. The ATV did not have a roll bar.

The community effort involving different agencies and neighbors was key to the successful search and rescue mission, Shaffer said.