Rubicon patrols gear down

With the changing weather the use of the Rubicon Trail will also change. The Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) season is winding down, but Sheriff John D’Agostini will continue to provide winter patrols on the trail as needs demand.

“There will be limited and sporadic patrols through the winter,” said the Sheriff’s Office OHV Program supervisor, Sgt. Bill Wilson.

Through almost 900 hours of dedicated service the OHV deputies came into contact with 6,300 people and watched 2,900 vehicles pass over the trail. Deputies conducted four search and rescue operations and numerous trail education presentations. With all these contacts only one citation and 234 warnings were issued for minor violations. No arrests were necessary.

Throughout the season there are multiple large events with attendance ranging from 150 to 500 vehicles. Although the Rubicon Trail experienced a relatively safe season, there was one tragic incident during one of the events.

This year one of the events was celebrating i’s 60th year and there was a large participant turnout. Approximately 1,800 participants and crew were present in the remote Rubicon Springs camp area. Unfortunately, at one point several participants left the event and drove their Jeep north on the trail, eventually rolling the vehicle over an embankment. One party was released at the scene and two were transported by air ambulance to Sacramento area trauma centers with serious injuries. The driver of the vehicle later died as a result of her injuries. The accident started a wildland fire which was fought for several days by USFS crews.The fire burned approximately two acres and caused a road/trail closure, delaying the completion of the event.

El Dorado County Sheriff's Office

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