An adventure from Osprey Lake to Tulameen and back took an ugly turn last Wednesday afternoon for two friends from the Lower Mainland. Roland Schmidt and Fred Archer headed out on their ATVs along the KVR. They left Schmidt’s vacation place near Link Lake and drove west.
The trip out went smoothly. The return trip was another matter. Schmidt drove in front of his friend. “I was trying to stay far enough ahead of Fred not to dust him out,” he stated,
Somewhere between Coalmont and Princeton, Schmidt stopped to wait. “After five to seven minutes, I started to worry,” Schmidt said. “Fred should have caught up with me, so I started backtracking.”
Schmidt’s heart lurched when he came across his friend. “Fred was struggling to stand up and I knew something was seriously wrong. He was in a lot of pain.”
Sixty-seven year old Archer had hit a large rock with his front tire. “Fred tried to veer around it,” said Schmidt, “but clipped it instead and it forced his quad to veer sharply. Fred flew off and smashed his head and body onto the ground. If, we didn’t always wear helmets, Fred could have been a lot worse off.”
“Fred is tough and was in agony,” said Schmidt. “I got him as comfortable as I could and used my SPOT Satellite GPS Messenger for help.”
The SPOT messenger is a personal locator beacon for emergency situations. It works where cell phones don’t. They have two phases of signals to choose from. The first phase alerts family and friends that the caller is in distress and the second phase alerts emergency responders that emergency assistance is needed.”
Schmidt hit the less urgent sequence of buttons alerting his family and friends that there was trouble. “Then, a guy named Cody came along of his motorbike,” said Schmidt. “He saw we needed help and agreed to go alert the proper authorities that we were in a bad situation.”
Cody took off on his motorbike and returned before long with the news that help was coming. “I cancelled my SPOT call out to my family then,” said Schmidt “and we waited.”
Schmidt heard the ambulance go by on the roadway above. “We waited,” he said. “Fred was going into shock. I really started to get worried.” At this point, Schmidt hit the more urgent phase on his SPOT.
Meanwhile, Ground Search and Rescue Society SAR manager Randy Rorvik was just getting ready to sit down for dinner when the alert came in from PEP dispatch. “I received a call that a quad rider had been involved in an accident near the second trestle towards Coalmont on the KVR,” explained Rorvik. “My team and I hustled into action and went out to find him.” Rorvik said they were able to go down an access road off the Coalmont Road by quad where they found Archer.
“The subject’s buddy had him covered up and had done his best to keep him comfortable,” said Rorvik. “Immediately, we wrapped him in blankets, took his vitals and put him on oxygen.”
The SAR team loaded Archer onto a backboard and into a stretcher that they slid into their ATV emergency boggan. Archer was then towed to the roadway at the Thomas farm where an ambulance was waiting.
Archer was transported to the Princeton Hospital and then on to Penticton. “Fred is doing really well,” said his relieved friend Schmidt. “We really want to thank everyone who helped. I know Fred and his wife Laurel are really grateful to all the emergency responders and to the young guy Cody Gibson who helped out. “This accident could have been a lot uglier than it was, but thanks to a helmet and some good people Fred is going to be okay.”
Archer is in Penticton Hospital with a fractured pelvis and hip. “Fred has to stay off his feet for four weeks, but there will be no cast or anything,” Schmidt stated. “All in all, he is a pretty lucky guy. Our bad day was made better because of a lot of good people.”