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Teen wrecked his ATV, but couldn’t tell 911 where he was

McClatchy

A teenage boy was seriously hurt Monday afternoon when he wrecked his ATV on Sumas Mountain, officials said.

Firefighters and Whatcom County Sheriff’s deputies searched for about 20 minutes on logging roads east of Nooksack before finding the boy at the bottom of a steep 60-foot ravine, said Chief Jerry DeBruin of Whatcom County Fire District 14.

“He missed a corner and went off the edge of a sharp incline,” DeBruin said. “Fortunately, the kid had his cellphone with him.”

DeBruin said the boy, whose name wasn’t disclosed because of his age, was riding with his grandfather when the two became separated before the incident.

DeBruin said the boy called 911, but couldn’t tell a dispatcher where he was.

Firefighters and sheriff’s deputies used their sirens as they drove along the remote mountain roads in hopes the boy could hear them, DeBruin said.

The boy was conscious and breathing, but had serious injuries, DeBruin said.

Medic One firefighters took him by ambulance to St. Joseph hospital, where his condition wasn’t immediately available.

Both firefighters and sheriff’s deputies – including some trained in search and rescue operations – were coincidentally nearby, having just completed work at a nearby hit-and-run wreck, DeBruin said.

He said rescuers rigged a rope system and raised the boy in a litter.

“He was wearing a helmet and good protective gear for riding,” DeBruin said. “But it looks like he came to the sharp corner, hit some loose gravel and lost control.”

Robert Mittendorf: 360-756-2805, @BhamMitty

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