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Wash. Deputies Give CPR to Motorcyclist After Crash

May 14--Two sheriff's deputies performed CPR on a badly injured motorcyclist late Friday afternoon after the rider crashed into the side of a car on Northwest 41st Avenue just north of 179th Street, near the fairgrounds.

Sgt. Randon Walker and Deputy Brett Anderson were in the Clark County Sheriff's West Precinct office about 4:45 p.m. when the collision was reported. Only two miles away, they arrived quickly to find the rider on the ground behind the car, Walker said.

The car, occupied by two teens, had been headed south when they saw the rider approaching them, northbound in the southbound lane in a sharp curve on a steep hill, he said.

The car's driver braked and swerved and had almost come to a complete stop when the rider crashed into the left side of the car. The driver did as much as he could to lessen the impact with the motorcycle, Walker said.

Finding the rider ashen and breathing poorly, Walker and Anderson were unable to detect a pulse and began CPR. They also attached an automatic external defibrillator to the rider's body. The device analyzed the rider's heart rhythms and did not ask for a shock to be delivered.

Paramedics with AMR Northwest ambulance service "were only a minute or two behind us," Walker said.

As paramedics took over the emergency medical care of the rider, officials called for a Life Flight helicopter.

The helicopter landed at the West Precinct, and paramedics brought the rider in an ambulance to the helicopter.

The rider was flown to Southwest Washington Medical Center with many injuries and was taken into the intensive care department.

Walker did not release the rider's name because they hadn't notified his family.

A quick arrival and immediate start of CPR by deputies and paramedics -- and the car driver's ability to slow down and lessen the impact -- are in the rider's favor of surviving, Walker said.

"We at least gave him a fighting chance," Walker said. "It's hard to say at this point. Unfortunately, it could go either way."

Also, the rider, a Clark County man in his 50s, wore a helmet and protective clothing.

The teens, Clark County residents, weren't immediately identified. Although the rider caved in the windshield of the car, neither of the car's occupants was injured, Walker said.

It appeared the motorcyclist had been drinking alcohol, Walker said.

Deputy Anderson had an automatic defibrillator unit in his car; the goal is for all deputies to carry them.

The crash is under investigation by Detective Jim Payne with the sheriff's Traffic Unit.

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