Yesterday, a 68-year-old Marin County man by the name of Rex Brian Powell was dirt biking in the Mendocino National Forest when he crashed, became impaled by a stick, and died as a result of his injuries.
Lake County Sheriff’s Office Lieutenant Corey Paulich told us Powell’s autopsy is scheduled for later this week.
The accident occurred Sunday, April 10, 2022, around 10:00 a.m. when medics were dispatched to the Middle Creek Campground located north of Upper Lake on Forest Road M-1.
The extremity of the injuries prompted a request for an air ambulance, but they were canceled en route after ground medics confirmed that Powell had succumbed to his injuries.
Afterward, a coroner with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the scene.
The risk of being impaled by a stick is ever-present for off-roading enthusiasts, with dozens of cases of tragic occurrence reported throughout the United States.
An article by Dr. Jeffrey P. Salomone from the Journal of Emergency Services entitled “Use Caution with Impalement Injuries” states that “impaled objects can present EMS providers with significant challenges for management, especially if the patient is entrapped or pinned by the impalement.”
Removing the impaled object from the patient risks “uncontrollable hemorrhage” if the object is removed. Dr. Salomone goes on to state, “impaled objects are almost never removed in the emergency department” but removed in a “controlled environment where an operation can be performed to control ensuing hemorrhage.”