One person killed in crash near La Honda

May 27, 2011 12:13:58 AM PDT
One person is dead and five are hurt after a crash in which a pick-up truck filled with men doing roadside weeding work plummeted over a rural San Mateo County cliff. The only way to get the injured out was by helicopter.

Luis Audelo-Partida, 26, of Newark died in the accident. It happened south of La Honda, in the area of Alpine and Mindego Hill roads. The rugged terrain made it very difficult for rescuers to reach the truck.

The seven person crew consisted of contractors working for the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District spraying non-native plants in a remote area of the Russian Ridge Open Space Preserve.

"It appears at this point that they were in an off-road area, the vehicle was attempting to traverse a hill when it rolled over, came to rest several hundred feet from the road or trail they were at," California Highway Patrol spokesperson Sgt. Frank Newman said. "There were several ejections."

The CHP said the terrain was so treacherous that emergency vehicles with four-wheel drive actually got struck trying to reach the crash site. Several rescue personnel hiked two miles to the area. Three helicopters were brought in to air lift out the victims. The two most severely injured victims were flown directly to Stanford Hospital; the three others were flown to the incident command center and then taken by ambulance to the hospital.

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