PLACERVILLE (AP) — A police pursuit of two men turned into a rescue mission after they fled into a wooded area of El Dorado County and later called 911 for help, saying they were freezing, authorities said.
The El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office identified the men as Triston Crossland, a 30-year-old parolee from Eureka, and Derrick Dionno, a 32-year-old probationer from Hayfork, the Sacramento Bee reported (http://bit.ly/1K5xLtU).
The pursuit began when the men ran from a car that had been stopped Friday by a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer near the frigid American River.
Officials say a Forest Service officer spotted the men a few hours later but despite shouted pleas from the officer that a storm was coming, the men again fled back across the river.
Crossland called 911 Friday night, saying they were “freezing to death and in fear of dying,” according to James Byers with the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Office.
The call prompted a search-and-rescue effort involving multiple agencies. The rescue crew crossed 7 miles of rocky, wooded terrain in rain and snow in the dark, eventually reaching Crossland and Dionno Saturday morning, Byers said.
The men had severe hypothermia. They were taken to a hospital and turned over to state Fish and Wildlife officers, officials said.