North County man rescued hours after plunge into ravine

April 11, 2016

ambulance 4A Heritage Ranch man spent more than 12 hours trapped in a North County ravine after wrecking his car and suffering serious injuries Friday night. Emergency crews rescued him Saturday morning after the keen eye of a former PG&E worker noticed a problem with a nearby power pole. [Tribune]

Around 10 p.m., Stephen Bradley, 69, was driving a Lexus SC 430 in rural Paso Robles when he swerved to miss a deer. Bradley’s car then left the road, hit a power pole and tumbled down an embankment.

Bradley was wearing a seat belt at the time, and neither drugs nor alcohol are suspected as factors in the crash, according to the CHP.

After the crash, Bradley managed to to get out of the vehicle. But, he could not climb back up to the road or find his phone due to the severity of his injuries.

CHP officer David Clays said the car was obscured from the roadway, and there was little evidence of an accident in the area.

Around 10:30 a.m. Saturday, retired PG&E worker Steve Banta was driving near the location of the accident when he notice a snapped guideline near a power pole. Banta stopped to examine the pole, and when he looked down, he saw a mangled car at the bottom of the ravine.

Banta, who is also a former volunteer firefighter, ran down the ravine to help Bradley. Banta’s wife called 911.

Cal Fire, the CHP and San Luis Ambulance responded to rescue Bradley. The ambulance transported him to Sierra Vista Regional Medical Center in San Luis Obispo.

Bradley remained in serious condition in the intensive care unit of the hospital Sunday afternoon.


So much for the foolish idea of a 55 MPH Speed Limit on a road that wasn’t built for it.


Great job, Mr. Banta!


Kudos to the PG&E worker for taking the time to stop and investigate.


Everyone please take notice. He was wearing his seat belt. He was NOT EJECTED from the car and he survived a very severe crash. Time and time again, Cal Coast News reports about accidents in which the occupants of the vehicle are killed primarily because they were not wearing a seat belt.

BUCKLE UP……and make certain that everyone else in the car also buckles their seat belt.