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Search crews spend afternoon looking for ATV rider who called 911

By | Posted - Jul. 13, 2011 at 5:06 p.m.

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HERRIMAN — An injured ATV rider in desperate need of help, or a hoax? Either way it's something crews had to take very seriously Wednesday as they searched the mountains above Herriman.

Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies say the man called 911 Wednesday around noon saying he had rolled his ATV and needed help. He told them he was near the summit of Yellow Fork Canyon, but then dispatchers lost contact with him.

Deputies say the call was made on a disconnected cell phone, so there is no way to trace the phone's GPS location. "(There are) no pings or anything to that nature that we can do with that; not even a call-back number to call that number back because it's been disconnected," Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal.

Search and rescue crews spent the afternoon searching the canyon, as well as nearby Butterfield Canyon and into Tooele County. They were equipped with off-road vehicles, searching some very rugged and densely covered terrain.

"If someone's injured, we don't know whether they have a head injury or if they're bleeding profusely or anything like that," said Unified Fire Authority spokesman Ben Sharer said. "Without knowing what kind of shape they're in, we're really at a loss for how quickly we need to move."

Crews say the man on the phone did sound reasonably calm. There were ATV tracks high up, but nobody in the canyons said they saw anybody on ATV's.

Crews wrapped up their search late Wednesday afternoon without finding anything or anyone.. It's still unclear if somebody needed help and maybe left, or if this was a hoax.

Written by the news team with contributions from Andrew Adams.




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