Occurred: 06/21/2020 7:10 PM
Location: Broken Top mountain
Rescued: Nelson, Chantel, 34 yo female, Beaverton, OR
On June 20th around 7:10 PM, Deschutes County Dispatch received a 911 call regarding a hiker, later identified as Chantel Nelson, who was reportedly hiking near Broken Top mountain and “in trouble”. According to Nelson’s hiking partners, she was also beginning to lose consciousness and could not continue on her own.
Based on this information, two DCSO Deputies and 9 Deschutes County Search and Rescue Volunteers responded to assist. One Deputy remained in quarters with a volunteer to coordinate the mission while another Deputy responded to the scene with the 8 other volunteers.
Based on Nelson’s location and the amount of intermintent snowpack on the forest service roads in the area, reaching her location proved challenging. Due to weather and the circumstances of the call, air transport was not an option at that time. SAR resources drove up Bearwallow Rd in trucks towing two offroad SAR vehicles–DCSO SAR’s Ranger and Argo. The Deputy and volunteers then deployed up forest service road 370 to the 380 Rd in the Ranger and Argo. Due to the amount of snow, these roads were later determined to be impassable for one of the offroad vehicles, resulting in some SAR volunteers having to hike in on foot.
SAR volunteers first reached Nelson around 12:40 am and began tending to her. After tending to her Nelson was able to walk down the mountain with the assistance of the volunteers. Nelson walked to the Broken Top Trailhead where DCSO SAR vehicle Argo was waiting. Nelson was then transported to the SAR trucks in the Argo and then provided transport into Bend at her request. Nelson declined further medical assistance at that time. DCSO resources returned to quarters at approximately 7:00 am the following morning.
It was later determined that intoxicants were the primary factor in Nelson’s inability to continue down the mountain, requiring her rescue. The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public that consuming intoxicants while recreating in the wilderness can lead to dangerous situations necessitating rescue and potentially putting the recreator and rescuers at risk as a result.
The Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office is a full service agency that oversees the adult jail, provides patrol, criminal investigations, civil process and search and rescue operations. Special units include SWAT, Marine Patrol, ATV Patrol, Forest Patrol, along with four K9 teams. Founded in 1916 and today lead by your duly elected Sheriff L. Shane Nelson, the Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office serves the nearly 190,000 residents in Deschutes County. The agency has 230 authorized and funded personnel, which includes 187 sworn employees who provide services to the 3,055 square miles of Deschutes County.