By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
Park County’s search and rescue team helped get a U.S. Forest Service law enforcement officer to safety on Friday after her snowmobile crashed near Cooke City, Montana.
Members of the team were called into help Friday because other area search and rescue teams were busy saving skiers from an avalanche in the same area.
On Friday afternoon, the Park County Sheriff’s office dispatch center received a report of a snowmobile crash on Lulu Pass, which is north of Cooke City, Montana. The crash involved Forest Service law enforcement officer Katrina Haworth, 40, of Cody, who was in the Absaroka-Bearthtooth Wilderness boundary when the accident occurred.
According to reports from the sheriff’s office, Haworth was snowmobiling northeast of Lulu Pass when she tried to navigate around a large snow cornice.
At some point, Haworth lost control of her snowmobile and rolled an estimated 40 feet down a steep embankment. During the fall, her snowmobile rolled over her right leg, causing what was believed to be a complex fracture below the knee.
At the time, Park County, Montana, search and rescue teams were working to save several skiers caught by an avalanche south of Cooke City near the Wyoming border, so the Park County, Wyoming, search and rescue team was asked to assist with Haworth’s rescue.
The Wyoming search and rescue team deployed two ground groups with snowmobiles and a led rescue vehicle to the area.
At the time of the crash, Haworth riding with a member of the Wyoming’s search and rescue team, who was assisting her with signage. After the accident, he provided aid to Haworth and got her snowmobile back into an upright position.
He then helped her get back on the snowmobile.
Haworth, a former U.S. Marine, was beginning to show signs of exposure, but insisted on riding her snowmobile down the mountain to the highway rather than pull resources from the avalanche rescue.
On the way down the mountain, Haworth and her partner were met by several Forest Service employees who further assisted in her evacuation.
After the group made it to Highway 212, they were met by members of a Montana search and rescue team, which transported Haworth via sled to a waiting ambulance at the Pilot Creek parking area.
She was then taken to Cody Regional Hospital, where her condition is unknown at this time.
Park County, Wyoming, Sheriff Scott Steward praised the inter-agency cooperation which brought the incidents to a safe resolution.
“At the time of the crash, Montana SAR was in the process of evacuating several avalanche victims in Wyoming, assisted by a short haul helicopter team from Teton County SAR,” Steward said. “Then our SAR personnel responded to assist with the evacuation of the snowmobile crash victim in Montana. Three counties, three search and rescue teams all working together resulting in a successful outcome given the severity of the incidents. We are lucky to have such dedicated volunteers.”