Teen hurts neck in snowboarding accident
A 19-year-old Minden man is in serious condition in Washoe Medical Center with a neck injury following a snowboarding accident Tuesday in Alpine County.
Brendan McNulty was taken by CareFlight to the hospital Tuesday after he fell 30 feet and landed on his back on rocks, according to Lynn Doyle, emergency medical services coordinator of Alpine County.
Doyle said that McNulty broke his sixth vertical vertebrae in the accident. He said the incident occurred south of Red Lake in the Sierra where McNulty and about half a dozen friends were skiing and snowboarding.
“He was snowboarding or skiing at the crest of the Sierra and apparently tried to get too much air,” Doyle said. “He fell 30 feet and hit his back.”
Doyle said the accident occurred about 2 p.m. Tuesday.
“There was some snowpack left over from last year and about 2 or 3 inches of new snow,” Doyle said. “When he fell, it was like hitting concrete.”
Doyle said he wasn’t sure whether McNulty was skiing or snowboarding.
“He had ski boots on, but he could have been snowboarding,” Doyle said.
He said one of McNulty’s friends drove to Caples Lake to report the accident. Members of Alpine County Search and Rescue, Volunteer Fire Department, Sheriff’s Department, Emergency Medical Services, Lake Tahoe Ambulance and Lake Valley Fire Department responded to the accident.
“We hiked up a real deep snow bank and did cervical spine precautions for him. From there, we waited for CareFlight to arrive and take him to Reno,” Doyle said. “CareFlight did a good job getting him out of there, but the damage was already done and we can’t undo it.”
“The weather was perfect, he just didn’t make a good choice about the area to try this in. People see extreme skiing on TV and it’s not what you see. I’ve been skiing since I was a teen-ager and now I am over 50 and I don’t have the experience for this,” Doyle said.
McNulty is listed in serious and stable condition in the intensive care unit at Washoe Medical Center in Reno, according to a hospital spokeswoman.
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