SAN BERNARDINO — Susumu Sagara, 89, of Gardena was rescued on Oct. 1 after his hang glider crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains, according to the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.
Sagara arrived at Marshall Peak to launch his hang glider. Shortly after take-off, he experienced difficulties and crashed into the side of the mountain.
Witnesses called 911 and reported the incident to authorities. At 4:36 p.m., deputies from Central Station received the reports. However, because of the remote location of the crash site and the amount of time it would take to reach it, assistance from Sheriff’s Aviation was requested.
The crew of Air Rescue 306 responded to Marshall Peak and began searching the hillside. The crew located Sagara on the west side of the mountain and set up to complete a rescue.
The crew hoisted an air medic down to Sagara. The medic assessed him and after speaking with him for several minutes, advised the crew that he did not sustain any injuries. The crew returned to the site and hoisted Sagara in a rescue harness up to the helicopter, followed by the medic.
Sagara requested to be dropped off at the hang glider landing area, where the rest of his group was waiting. Medics walked with him to join the rest of his group but as they approached the halfway mark in the field, he asked to walk the rest of the way by himself.
As the medics walked back to the helicopter, Sagara put his arms in the air and began celebrating.
The crew of Air Rescue 306: Pilot — Corporal Paul Kowalski; crew chief — Corporal Chris Mejia; air medic — Paramedic Bernard Horak; air medic — EMT Gordon Yee.