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Man injured in ATV accident at AOAA



HARRY DEITZ/FOR THE NEWS-ITEM EMTs and staff from the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) attend to Jeff Wartluft, of New Bethel, left, on the ground, who was injured when while riding his ATV at the AOAA Saturday. Wartluft’s ATV is parked next to him.

HARRY DEITZ/FOR THE NEWS-ITEM EMTs and staff from the Anthracite Outdoor Adventure Area (AOAA) attend to Jeff Wartluft, of New Bethel, left, on the ground, who was injured when while riding his ATV at the AOAA Saturday. Wartluft’s ATV is parked next to him.

COAL TOWNSHIP — A 28-year-old ATV rider from southeastern Pennsylvania suffered injuries early Saturday afternoon in an accident atop the western section of the AOAA park.

Officials said the accident involving Jeff Wartluft, of New Bethel, was unrelated to the ULTRAA4 series event that attracted more than 100 riders Saturday.

Wartluft was rescued from a new section of the park near the Zerbe and Coal Township boundary line in an effort by firefighters, Emergency Medical Technicians from AREA Services and AOAA staff that proved difficult and challenging because of the accident’s location. To reach the injured man, rescuers in a pickup truck and a SUV had to traverse rocky and rutty roads, some filled with rainwater.

Wartluft was treated at the scene and then placed in the SUV for transport to gate at the second patch of Bear Valley where he was placed in an AREA Services ambulance for transport to Geisinger-Shamokin Area Community Hospital for treatment of a leg injury.

While the effort to reach him was being made by the emergency crew, Geisinger’s Lifeflight helicopter was placed on standby. The alert was later aborted.

Wartluft said he was with a group from his hometown area that arrived at the AOAA trailhead shortly before 11 a.m. Saturday. They registered to traverse the trails in the new western section of the park. Wartluft said he was driving over a rocky area when the four-wheeler bounced, causing his leg to slip under one of the front wheels.