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Stay Out Stay Alive Fatal Accident Summaries
for 2006


Man dies in mine shaft north of Yermo
Victorville Daily Press - Victorville, CA, USA
April 9, 2006


YERMO' Kenneth'Rusty� Lasley, 41, of Vista, died of injuries sustained in a fall down an abandoned mine shaft Friday, the San Bernardino Coroner's office said. Lasley and his 7-year-old son, who was not identified, were exploring the Calico Mountains north of Yermo in an all-terrain vehicle when they came upon the abandoned mine in a remote, rugged area. Lasley ventured about 60 feet into a horizontal mine shaft, then fell into a vertical mine shaft estimated as being 30 to 50 yards deep, according to San Bernardino Sheriff's Sgt. Doug Hubbard. The young boy rode his ATV to one of the few homes nearby, two or three miles from the mine shaft to seek help, and the homeowners called deputies. At 12:30 p.m., sheriff's deputies, county fire personnel and two sheriff's helicopters were dispatched to the area where the mine shaft goes an estimated 100 feet into the mountain.

The mine is'three ridges past� part of the mountain that is visible from below, Hubbard said, and is very difficult to reach except by helicopter or on vehicles designed to traverse rugged areas. It was determined that the mine shaft was very unstable and portions needed to be shored up before rescue personnel could enter.

A call was made to the Kern County Sheriff Mine Rescue Team and two San Bernardino Sheriff's Department helicopters flew to Kern County and picked up team members and brought them to the scene. According to Hubbard, the Kern County team is among the best in the world at mine rescue. Lasley's body was recovered at 8:30 p.m., eight hours after the first call came in to the Sheriff's Department regarding the accident.