One victim trapped for two hours
Two men were trapped and in the wreckage when a large crane overturned on a dirt road near McKittrick Wednesday evening.
Both men were seriously injured and were freed by Kern County firefighters in a major rescue effort involving multiple engines from the west side of the county plus heavy duty urban search and rescue equipment from stations in Bakersfield.
Two heavy-duty rotator tow trucks and a backhoe were also used and Huddleston Crane was called in to assist with the rescue effort.
The 30-ton crane was coming down a dirt road in the Melody Hills area south of Highway 33
about 7:30 p.m.
One victim was trapped in the cab with back injuries, according to reports from the scene.
The second was trapped under the falling crane with both legs pinned under the arm.
His rescue was more more extensive and took about two hours. The man was pinned under the arm of the crane from the hips down, according to rescuers.
A backhoe was used in that part of the rescue.
Rescuers were able to dig out soft dirt and pull him from beneath the crane.
The first victim was flown from the scene to Kern Medical Center about an hour after the accident.
The helicopter returned to fly the second victim out after he was extricated an hour later.
The crane was being transported down a hill when became stuck or disabled and the two victims were trying to get it righted when the accident occurred.
Dave Noerr of Huddleston Crane said his firm had sold the crane several years ago and it was being sold again.
The men injured were going to transport the crane to Mexico, Noerr said.
Both victims suffered major injuries.
Their names have not been released.