The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office, the Star Valley Search and Rescue and Star Valley EMS responded to a call for help from a single engine plane on Monday morning, Feb. 14. The call for aid came in from the cell phone of a passenger in the aircraft. According to Lincoln County Sheriff Shane Johnson, the caller said the accident had occurred west of Afton. Locating the plane proved to be an interesting challenge. “The caller reported that the plane hit some power lines,” said Sheriff Shane Johnson. “He said that he was injured and the pilot was also injured.”
Lincoln County kicked into full gear to provide “life saving support and emergency response,” said Sheriff Johnson.
A plane was dispatched from the Afton-Lincoln County Airport to fly over the West Hills and look for the downed aircraft. Star Valley Search and Rescue responded to the Crow Creek area of the West Hills to follow power line routes from the ground on snowmobiles.
The downed plane was spotted from the air and a GPS location of the accident was relayed to rescuers.
The accident had occurred in Caribou County, Johnson said. But Lincoln County was in a position to provide aid and did so.
“Our involvement was pretty much to get out there and try to save lives,” said Sheriff Johnson. “Caribou County also responded.”
Both men in the plane were rescued, Johnson said.
“They were in a very remote location that could only be accessed by helicopter or snowmobile,” Johnson said. “One individual was life flighted from the scene. The other was brought out by Search and Rescue and then transported to Star Valley Medical Center.”
According to Johnson, it was miraculous that the call for help ever made it to dispatch.
“The area where this incident occurred was so remote that we were having difficulty getting out radios to work properly,” said Johnson. “It is amazing the call for help was able to get through.”
Johnson also praised the efforts of the Star Valley Search and Rescue.
“They had the right people and right equipment and they got the job done,” he said. “We are lucky to have them. This county is a much safer place because of our Search and Rescue. They are all volunteers and they are willing to just drop whatever they are doing and help when it is needed. They just do a tremendous job.”
The cause of the accident is unknown at this time,” Johnson said. The FAA will investigate the incident.