Rescue crews save man from rock face

Jul 9, 2020 | Crestline

On July 4 at 1:38 p.m., San Bernardino County Fire crews were dispatched to the area of Hortencia’s at the Cliffhanger restaurant on Highway 18, responding to a call that a rock climber had fallen 30 feet and was injured.

Crews made access in the area and found one adult male injured and unable to self-rescue. Due to the complexity of the call and risks involved, a County Fire Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team was deployed.

Crews utilized a rope rescue system to access and haul the patient from the rock face. Ninety minutes after their arrival, the patient was loaded to an awaiting ambulance for transport to a local trauma center in stable condition.

Due to the terrain features and safety, a helicopter wasn’t able to be used.
County Fire responded with two engines, a rescue engine, an ambulance and a battalion chief.

A GoFundMe account has been set up for the injured climber – identified on that site as Lucas Crouch – by his friend Justin Thomas. Thomas writes that the fall broke Crouch’s leg, shattered his elbow and broke his back.

“It’s a miracle there are no head injuries or damage done to the cervical spine,” Thomas writes. He describes Crouch as an aspiring arborist who relocated to California from Indiana.

At press time, $1,320 had been donated (



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