Teen drives off 15-foot-tall dune at Oceano Dunes, prompting helicopter rescue

David Middlecamp/dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com
·1 min read

The teenage driver of an off-highway vehicle careened off a 15-foot-tall dune at the Oceano Dunes on Tuesday afternoon — prompting a medical evacuation by helicopter.

The rollover crash occurred around noon Tuesday at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area, according to a California State Parks news release. First responders arrived about 10 minutes later.

The vehicle landed hard, nose-dived into the dune and rolled over onto its roof, eventually settling on its side, State Parks said.

Everyone in the vehicle was wearing seat belts and helmets, but the 19-year-old driver and all three passengers all complained of pain after the crash and needed medical attention, according to the release.

A 17-year-old passenger seated in the rear of the vehicle was transported by California Highway Patrol helicopter to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo for treatment, the release said.

The driver and other two passengers were transported to Sierra Vista by ambulance, according to the release.

No alcohol was involved in the collision, but rather was the result of “speed and operator inexperience,” according to the release.