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San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department

Press Release

DATE/TIME: Thursday, May 12, 2016 / 5:46 pm

INCIDENT: Search and Rescue

LOCATION: Joshua Tree National Park south of Yucca Valley

VICTIM: Chad Smithling, 48 years, Yucca Valley


On Thursday, May 12, 2016 Jeffrey Smithling and his cousin Chad Smithling were riding their motorcycles in the Joshua Tree National Park area south of Yucca Valley when Chad crashed and injured his ribs. While both of them were riding back to Yucca Valley, Chad became separated from Jeffrey. Jeffrey made it back to Yucca Valley where friends and family members began looking for Chad for several hours. When they could not located Chad, Jeffrey called the Sheriff’s Department for assistance at about 5:46 pm.
Patrol deputies, the Morongo Basin Search and Rescue Team, Joshua Tree NP Rangers, and Sheriff’s Aviation were utilized in the search for Chad. The search continued into the night, and at 9:54 p.m. Sheriff’s Aviation located Chad. The Sheriff’s helicopter crew landed and took Chad aboard and flew him to the Morongo Basin California Highway Patrol helicopter pad, where Chad was transported to High Desert Medical Center (HDMC) by ambulance for dehydration and injury to his ribs. Chad was later released from HDMC.

Refer: Mike Cusack, Deputy Station: Morongo Basin Station
Case #: 091600721
Phone No. (760) 366-4175

John McMahon, Sheriff-Coroner

San Bernardino County Sheriff-Coroner Department

Sheriff’s Public Affairs Division

655 E. Third Street

San Bernardino, California 92415-0061

Telephone: (909) 387-3700

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