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Rescue on Tioga Pass area involves local surgeon

June 16, 2011

On Saturday, June 11, the Mono County Sheriff Search and Rescue (SAR) Team was called out to help a snowboarder with a broken leg.

Payam Pakbin, 28, of Los Angeles, was walking up a steep, icy slope with a friend near Tioga Pass when he lost his footing and slid down into a rock field, suffering a femur fracture. Other backcountry skiers in the area heard his yelling and responded to help. One of the responders skied down to his vehicle and drove down Highway 120 until he was able to contact authorities on his cell phone.

Luckily for Pakbin, among those at the scene was local orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Michael Karch. Dr. Karch skied out to Highway 120 and met with the responding SAR team personnel. He and a rescue team member then returned to the accident scene with medical equipment to stabilize Pakbin.

The SAR team requested the aid of Yosemite National Park rescue helicopter for transport purposes due to Pakbin’s severe injuries. The Park Service helicopter flew in two rescuers to the accident scene and was able to transport Pakbin to a waiting ambulance on Highway 120.

He was taken to Mammoth Hospital for treatment for his injuries.

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