UPDATE: Man dies in ATV accident following cliffside crash near Thousand Trails
About 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, the Verde Valley Fire District was dispatched to a motor vehicle accident off State Route 260 on Forest Service Road 361, opposite Thousand Trails.
Rescue crews found a 66-year-old man identified as William Neal Adkinson (hometown has not been confirmed) down about 50 feet off a 100-foot cliff. Near to the patient was his 4-wheel off road vehicle with heavy damage.
He was operating a "Polaris Razor" as the only occupant and while attempting to pass another off-road vehicle, apparently lost control due to his speed. Adkinson drove onto a raised dirt shoulder then through a barbed wire fence and down a steep embankment. The vehicle appears to have rolled several times. Adkinson was ejected and suffered numerous serious injuries.
A nearby motorist stopped and found Adkinson lying face down on the embankment and bleeding severely. YCSO deputies arrived and rendered first aid in an attempt to stop the bleeding. EMS assessed Adkinson and determined he had broken several bones during the fall while suffering a deep laceration to his face.
Crews needed a technical rope rescue to reach the patient. After the crews treated the patient for critical injuries, he was carried another 150 yards through rough terrain to a waiting helicopter.
The man was flown to Flagstaff Medical Center where he later passed away.
It took rescue crews a little over 2 hours to retrieve the body.
Rescue crews needed assistance from Trail Rescue 311 quad, Support 311, Engine 311, Car 311 and Ambulance 321. The rescue team also got help from the Yavapai County Sheriff's Office and Guardian Medical Helicopter.
"These type of incidents are very challenging and requires a lot of specialized equipment and training," said VVFD Chief Nazih Hazime. "The crews did an excellent job considering the challenges."
Chief Hazime offered a reminder to always wear helmets and seat belts and be aware of your surroundings and speed while operating off road trail vehicles.