Park County Search and Rescue Saves Powell Dirt Biker
Written by Andrew-Rossi on March 25, 2021
Another Park County resident is saved after a dirt bike accident in the Sand Coulee thanks to the Park County Search and Rescue Team’s skills and tools.
The latest call came into the Park County Communications Center at 11 p.m. Sunday, March 21. 65-year-old Bradford James Meredith left his Powell home at noon to ride his dirt bike and had yet to return.
Meredith’s wife, who made the call, didn’t know exactly where her husband was. She mentioned the Little Sand Coulee and areas near the Powell Airport are locations he liked to ride.
It was the Park County Sheriff’s deputies who responded to the call initially. Several officers began reaching accessible roads in the areas mentioned by Meredith’s wife, looking for him or his vehicle.
Searching continued until 3:00 a.m. Monday. Deputies found no sign of the missing dirt biker that night.
When the search resumed at 8:30 a.m., the Park County Search and Rescue (PCSAR) team was deployed. Knowing the situation, they decided the best way to find Meredith was to take to the air.
The team’s fixed-wing aircraft took off to search the area from the air. At 9:45 a.m., Meredith’s van was found, parked along a rugged two-track trail, two and a half miles from the Powell Airport.
At 9:48 a.m. Monday, they spotted Meredith – lying next to his damaged dirt bike at the bottom of a steep drainage a quarter of a mile away from his van.
Deputies reached Meredith by 10:10 a.m. They found him alert but with several severe injuries and signs of hypothermia.
Despite the severity of Meredith’s injuries, they might have been worse or even fatal. Luckily, he was wearing motocross safety gear and a helmet at the time of the accident.
By that time, the PCSAR ground team, an ambulance from Powell Valley Healthcare, and Cody Regional Health’s Wilderness Medical Team were already in the area. Medical personnel made it to Meredith’s location by 10:30 a.m.
By 11 a.m., Bradford James Meredith was aboard a Guardian Flight helicopter – summoned by the PSCAR team – and heading for St. Vincent Hospital in Billings. His current condition is unknown.
According to Meredith’s own account, the accident occurred at approximately 5:00 p.m. Sunday. The location of his van and accident made it difficult to locate him that night.
Once again, the Park County Search and Rescue team used their training to find and rescue a Park County resident after a dangerous ordeal.
Our local team not only covers one of the largest areas in the country but that area contains the most varied terrain and range of incidents possible.
Lance Mathess, PCSAR Acting Coordinator, says the team is ready for every possible contingency. All park County residents are fortunate to have such an efficient and experienced group in our community.
“The people of Park County can and should know – you can count on us at all times and we’re here for you,” Mathess says.