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Search and Rescue members remove the body of the deceased hiker.

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Search and Rescue members remove the body of the deceased hiker.


Hiker Dies on Cold Spring Trail

Both He and Companion Had Suffered Serious Injuries in Fall


Originally published 11:00 a.m., March 18, 2014
Updated 2:00 p.m., March 18, 2014
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A hiker died on Cold Spring Trail as he attempted to save his female companion after they both suffered serious injuries in a fall. Santa Barbara Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Kelly Hoover said officials are still investigating the incident, but explained it appears the pair — both in their 20s — headed up the trail on March 16 at around 4 p.m., and fell approximately 45 minutes later.

The female suffered two broken ankles and a broken wrist, Hoover said. The male suffered a serious injury to his arm. Their identities have not been released. “After a period of time, the male hiker went to get help and was fatally injured when he fell again about 20 to 30 feet down a rocky ledge,” Hoover said in a prepared statement.

At 10:30 a.m. the next morning, a couple hiking on the lower section of Cold Spring Trail called 9-1-1 to report a body 10-15 feet off the trail. Sheriff’s deputies and the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue team responded to the area, but because of the location of the body, it took crews several hours to recover it.

Nearly six hours later, other hikers on the upper area of Cold Spring Trail discovered the injured female and called 9-1-1. She was airlifted to Cottage Hospital and is recovering from her injuries, Hoover said.

[UPDATE, 2:00 p.m.]: Santa Barbara authorities have released the identity of the hiker who died on Cold Spring Trail as he attempted to save his injured friend. The deceased hiker was identified as 22-year-old Brenden Michael Vega of Ventura, and his companion was identified as 22-year-old Saylor Guilliams of Ventura.

“The hikers had gone on a late afternoon hike and were unprepared for the conditions,” said Sheriff’s spokesperson Kelly Hoover, noting the pair tried to light their way down the trail with their cell phones, but fell several times. “After calling for help for several hours, Vega reportedly left Guilliams alone to get help,” Hoover said. “While traveling down the trail, he fell off a rocky ledge and was killed.”

The Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incident, and toxicology results are pending, Hoover said.

Comments

Independent Discussion Guidelines

I'm guessing drugs and/or alcohol were involved. How could there have been so much falling? Yeah, it's a tricky trail in parts, but tricky enough for three separate serious falls?

BettyBoop (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 12:46 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Im gonna say it..these 2 had no business being out there.. completely unprepared and inexperienced..Im done

audidriver2010 (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 1:39 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Thousands of people go up there every year. One breaks both her ankles and the other falls down a cliff and dies. Something is not being told in this story.

JamPenn (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 2:30 p.m. (Suggest removal)

sad story. no reason for everyone to speculate, why not wait for the facts before espousing insulting comments?

StockiestCastle (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 2:48 p.m. (Suggest removal)

@StockiestCastle, if people adhered to waiting for the facts, there would a lot fewer comments from uninformed people, which would be a good thing.

discoboy (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 2:53 p.m. (Suggest removal)

If people adhered to waiting for the facts, CNN would go off the air.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 3 p.m. (Suggest removal)

...and if people adhered to waiting for the facts, not a single living human being with a functional brain would pay any attention whatsoever to Rush Limbaugh, Fox News, or Glenn Beck.

My sincerest condolences to the families of those involved in this terrible and tragic incident.

verve825 (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 3:45 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Sad, very, very sad.

blahblahmoreblah (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 4:36 p.m. (Suggest removal)

It an unlucky story, sad for them and their families. JamPenn is right about the common usage, but as one who has gone over to Tangerine Falls several times it can be very tricky, it's quite steep in places, with the recent rain and the deep shade it's likely some slippery places were still there. There have been other recent rescues here in this area. When hiking alone at dusk or at night on, say, Rattlesnake Canyon Trail, I won't do it without 2 LED headlamps, twin hiking poles, my best boots, and determination to go very very slow. Using cell phone lights is insane, AND uses up the battery. This is so unusual it is sad but likely we'll find something in toxicology report...

DavyBrown (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 4:56 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm willing to bet intoxicants were not involved.

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 5:29 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Don't you just love how the wacko left bring politics into a tragedy?

How do you idiots sleep at night or wake up in the morning?

I see that "Hope and Change" is really working well for us with the intellect on this thread….

Priceless (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 6:12 p.m. (Suggest removal)

I know the young ladys mother and there is more to the story and it's not drugs. So please show respect and hold judgment. I don't know the trail but heard it's pretty rough and in saying that, Brenden was rushing down the hill to get help for Saylor and in my eyes he is a hero. RIP Brenden.

IErob (anonymous profile)
March 18, 2014 at 8:22 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Full moon. They could have waited for it. Let's hope more info comes out about their preparedness.

atomic_state (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 1:54 a.m. (Suggest removal)

priceless rightfully chides a political comment about this tragedy......then immediately soils his own shorts with the hope and change crack.

lawdy (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 8:01 a.m. (Suggest removal)

I'm really confused...

"headed up the trail on March 16 at around 4 p.m., and fell approximately 45 minutes later."

..noting the pair tried to light their way down the trail with their cell phones, but fell several times. “After calling for help for several hours, Vega reportedly left Guilliams alone to get help,”

So they fell when there was still almost 3 hours of light left in the day and nobody was around to help them the entire time? It was when it finally got dark that he decided to go get help on his own? Or were they lighting their way down the path before the first fall occurred and the article is incorrect pre-update? Something doesn't seem right at least.

loonpt (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 10:30 a.m. (Suggest removal)

So terribly sad for a young man to go that way and at such a young age. The young lady must have been terrified and in unbearable pain or shock. Anyone who knows the trail has to be befuddled by the story, but unless it's alcohol they won't find anything in the tox report. Most psychedelics don't show up.

3domfighter (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 10:45 a.m. (Suggest removal)

(This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of use policy.)

thomas592003 (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 2:07 p.m.

without a toxicology report, with the unfortunate woman not speaking to the press...what to do? Give it time, thomas.

DrDan (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 2:37 p.m. (Suggest removal)

How about some compassion people? jeez

Ken_Volok (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 2:49 p.m. (Suggest removal)

Another baffling thing -- the only mention of Tangerine Falls is in DavyBrown's comment. Even though the Sheriff's 3/17 press release in the incident specifies Tangerine Falls, the Independent manages to leave that salient fact out of their article. The west-fork creek trail to the Falls is a completely different animal from the east-fork creek or ridge trails.

thecommentator (anonymous profile)
March 19, 2014 at 4:57 p.m. (Suggest removal)

So The Independent has a policy against being criticized for shlocky reporting? HMMMMMMM

thomas592003 (anonymous profile)
March 20, 2014 at 7:11 a.m. (Suggest removal)

Let us be mindful of our environment even in the face of these two peoples tragedy we should remember to research your Hike, bring maps, lighting (After dark), layered clothing, water and food, sturdy hiking boots and know your surroundings. Cell phones are NOT lifesavers but they will assist in saving you if you get a signal, a whistle, a small mirror for signalling, a flashlight and extra batteries and even a few waterproof matches/flint & steel for lighting a fire (remember Fire warnings and prohibition to fire lighting). I understand that the Mass Quantity of American's believe that if you have your cell phone you'll never become lost or be without light but so does the car-salesman say that your BMW can climb glass buildings in rainstorms...People, it's just NOT true!
In all the years of hiking the back country and the foothills did I ever go without planning for the worst, survival knife, food & water, layered clothing, water-proof construction boots, maps, lights (and yes camera), and a vast knowledge of the area I would be hiking. Of course, I met wildlife and some could have killed me but I was always prepared and this sounds as though these two were not... Prepared!

dou4now (anonymous profile)
March 25, 2014 at 1:04 p.m. (Suggest removal)

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