Tuesday, March 20 , 2018, 4:49 am | Mostly Cloudy 51º


Deputies in Helicopter Help Rescue Suicidal Man

His ex-wife leads police to the man, found off West Camino Cielo Road

Deputies flying a Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department helicopter played a key role in finding a man believed to be attempting suicide in the mountains above Santa Barbara.

About 10 a.m. Thursday, sheriff’s office dispatch received an emergency call from the ex-wife of a suicidal man who was reported to be on West Camino Cielo Road, just east of Refugio Road.

The man had called his ex-wife and told her he had taken 20 to 30 Oxycontin pills with vodka. She said he was associated with a white pickup truck.

Two sheriff’s deputies were already flying SBSO Copter 1 in the area when the call came out. A Calstar medical helicopter also was en route.

When the sheriff’s helicopter arrived on scene, the deputies observed a state parks law enforcement pickup truck pulling up to an unoccupied white pickup truck parked on West Camino Cielo.

As the deputies circled the area from above, they saw a male adult in the brush who was down an embankment, just south of the white pickup truck. The man was not visible from the road.

Since the deputies couldn’t communicate the subject’s location to the ranger, they landed the helicopter just off the road to render immediate medical care. One of the deputies made contact with the ranger and directed him to the man.

The deputy then contacted the man and confirmed he had consumed the pills and vodka in an attempt to commit suicide.

The ranger began a medical assessment and monitoring of the man until American Medical Response paramedics, Calstar 7 and additional sheriff’s deputies arrived. AMR transported the man to a hospital for treatment.

— Drew Sugars is a public information officer for the Santa Barbara County Sheriff’s Department.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click here to get started >

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >