ATV crash gives Pa. rescue crews trouble

By Tom Ragan
The Standard-Speaker

MCADOO, Pa. — One man was injured in an ATV accident near the Lofty reservoir in Kline Township on Wednesday evening, and rescue operations proved to be a challenge for emergency crews, according to McAdoo Fire Chief Bob Leshko.

McAdoo and Keystone fire companies responded to an ATV accident at a remote area about a mile and a half from Interstate 81. Crews had a tough time locating the accident site and enlisted the aid of the state police at Hazleton.

Leshko described the area as a series of hills and in a very remote area near the Lofty reservoir.

"It was a very difficult place to get to. That's why we had to call in the state police helicopter," Leshko said.

A state police helicopter was dispatched from Reading to locate the injured ATV victim, and with emergency crews, managed to locate the man, identified as Bill Schaffer of Effort, with an injury to his leg. The state police helicopter led emergency crews on a 45-minute hike to the site to prepare the man for a short flight to a staging area set up in St. Patrick's Cemetery in McAdoo.

The state police helicopter dropped the injured man off in the cemetery, where a PennStar helicopter was standing by to transport him to an Allentown hospital. A emergency crew member said his injury did not appear to be life-threatening.

The PennStar helicopter emergency crew could not land in the area near where the accident occurred, according to officials at the scene.

The accident happened around 5:30 p.m., but the victim wasn't flown to a hospital until just before 8 p.m., according to officials. "We were told there were two people in two separate ATV accidents," Leshko said. A father and son were riding, but rescue crews were not sure if one or two four-wheelers involved, he said. The son was not injured and walked out with emergency personnel.

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