Hurt cyclist airlifted off trail

An Alberta woman in her early 20s was airlifted to hospital in Penticton Saturday after suffering a serious injury while cycling on a trail.

Emergency crews were called to the incident on a section of the Three Blind Mice bike trail system near Riddle Road, towards Naramata, shortly before 4:30 p.m.

An air ambulance was called in to assist from Kamloops as well as a helicopter requested by Penticton Search and Rescue, which performed the long line rescue from a nearby vineyard.

The woman was taken to the Penticton Regional Hospital with serious leg injuries. She had been cycling with three other friends when the accident happened.

"We took our UTV out there to shuttle emergency workers in and out. We were about a 10-15 minute hike in to her, so we decided to long line her out because of her injuries," Penticton Fire Department Capt. Graham Gowe said.

"It took us a little bit to find her. We knew what trail system she was on but it's a big trail system... It probably took a good 30-45 minutes to actually get to the patient. And then we were kind of pressed for daylight because we had to wait for a helicopter."

Gowe said it had rained sporadically throughout the day in the area, and noted the trail was slippery and muddy during the rescue.

He said crews in Penticton typically respond to several calls on the Three Blind Mice trail system each year, noting the trails are rigorous and not suited for novice cyclists.

Skylar Noe-vack

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