Crews rescue injured Eugene man after fall from horse on Pacific Crest Trail

Rescue crews help an injured man into a Life Flight helicopter after sustaining injures from a horse fall, July 16, 2017. (Photo courtesy Deschutes County Sheriff's Office)

A 72-year-old Eugene man was rescued and transported to safety after he fell from his horse on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Just after 10 a.m. Sunday, Linn County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue was alerted to a man that had fallen off a horse on the trail about 1.25 miles north of the intersection on Hwy 20 near Ray Benson Snow Park.

Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Search and Rescue was requested to assist Linn County SAR based on the proximity of the SAR Teams to the incident.

Police said there were currently two DCSO SAR members and a friend hiking the trail on their way to Summit Three Finger Jack.

After receiving the request for resources, they turned around to make initial contact with the fallen rider. In the meantime, one Linn County SAR Deputy, two USFS Officers, Sisters Fire personnel, nine DCSO SAR volunteers and one DCSO SAR Deputy responded.

The fallen rider, Melvin Van Cleve, had sustained injuries that required transportation on a wheeled litter down to the trail head at Hwy 20, police said.

During the litter transport it was determined Van Cleve's injuries were potentially life threatening and would require him to be transported by air ambulance, according to police.

Life Flight was dispatched to a landing zone set up across the highway after which Van Cleve was transported to St. Charles Bend.

Police said Van Cleve was riding with family and friends, a total of six riders, on their way for a day's ride to upper and lower Berley Lakes.

Van Cleve's horse became spooked by a snag near the trail causing Van Cleave to fall.

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