Hiker dies after rescue from Pacific Crest Trail near Truckee
October 6, 2008
A hiker died at a Truckee hospital Saturday after being rescued from the Pacific Crest Trail west of town by the Placer County sheriff’s search-and-rescue team.
Authorities say 62-year-old Phyllis Hall of Oregon was one of four people who were found by rescuers Saturday morning on the Pacific Crest Trail near Tinker’s Knob.
The group was headed north from Highway 50 to Donner Summit on the Pacific Crest Trail, and was caught by the weekend’s storm near Tinker’s Knob.
“She got separated from the group that evening and made contact by cell, and was going to meet with them the next morning,” said Placer County Sheriff’s Sgt. Dave Hunt, who runs the Search and Rescue team for eastern Placer County. “When they were unable to contact her in the morning they called 911.”
The other three hikers were 65-year-old Harold Herlan of San Diego, 49-year-old Pamela Bryant of El Cajon and 58-year-old Karen Lafferty of Hanford. They were reported to be cold and hungry but otherwise uninjured.
The search and rescue team went in by foot and on all-terrain vehicles, and took all four hikers out, Hunt said. Hall was then taken by ambulance to Tahoe Forest Hospital.
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Although an autopsy has yet to be performed, authorities say it appears Hall died from exposure.
“I believe the three survived because they huddled together. It was extremely cold,” Hunt said. “The cell phone was their saving grace.”
When heading into the backcountry in the fall, Sgt. Dave Hunt said to be prepared for changing weather.
“Bring winter gear, a cell phone, and a GPS so you can give your coordinates if you do get stuck,” Hunt said. “And don’t go alone and don’t separate from your group.”
He said to avoid cotton clothing, bring a first aid kit, and a stove to prepare hot food.
“Let somebody know when and where to expect you, so if you don’t show up they can call the authorities,” Hunt said.