On May 10, 2011, at approximately 10 A.M., Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office deputies responded to a reported injured quad rider in the Table Mesa area. The caller told dispatchers via cell phone that her husband, 51-year-old Jon Provost, had suffered injuries after his quad rolled and landed on top of him while trying to negotiate a large rock. The caller, who had to leave her husband’s side to access high ground for cell phone reception, believed he had broken his collarbone. Jon and his wife are from Tucson.
A Department of Public Safety Ranger helicopter was dispatched to the area based on GPS coordinates and caller information, but could not locate the injured rider. The cell phone company was providing updated GPS coordinates, but their accuracy was in question. A YCSO Forest Patrol supervisor eventually arrived in the area after plotting the latest coordinates. Just before 12 PM, the Forest Patrol deputy located Jon’s wife who was waving her arms attempting to flag down rescue personnel. The deputy was able to hike in and contact Jon while DPS landed on a nearby mountaintop. Around 1 PM, the deputy and a DPS Ranger crew were able to assist Jon back to the helicopter and he was flown to John C. Lincoln, Deer Valley. The pair was found along the Terminator 2 trail.
The initial assessment of Jon indicated a broken shoulder and injuries to his ribs and left wrist. Jon was also on supplemental oxygen at the time of the accident and used an oxygen tank strapped to his quad while riding. He was not wearing any protective gear. His quad had apparently flipped over while attempting to ride over a large boulder, landing on top of him before rolling off.
This is a reminder that it is critical to always wear proper head and body safety gear, especially in such extreme terrain conditions. Always consider your abilities and equipment in light of the terrain you choose to ride. Jon’s lifeline to his rescue was a cell phone which only worked from a nearby high ground area and thus delayed the rescue effort. A satellite communication device, such as those made by “Spot,” avoids the restrictive capabilities of cell phones in remote areas. (YCSO does not endorse any particular product but provides this information as an example of satellite tracking devices).