Leavenworth man rescued after breaking both legs in backcountry

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Brian Sciortino, right.

A 25-year-old Leavenworth man had to be rescued by helicopter after breaking both his legs in a snowboarding accident in backcountry near Stevens Pass.

Captain Jason Reinfeld of the Chelan County Sheriff’s office said numerous aid personnel were dispatched to Henry Creek drainage area to assist with the rescue of Brian Sciortino.

Now being treated at Central Washington Hospital in Wenatchee, Sciortino, a wildlands firefighter, said he was training for the upcoming fire season with a group of friends on Jim Hill when the accident happened.

“I was trying to meet up with my friends and I was taking a different line than they did. Usually you want to follow the same lines that your friends did,” Sciortino said. “I just went a little to the right of that and went over a little cornus (tree) and just dropped right into a 15-20 foot creek hole and immediately broke both my legs, right through, in half. I looked at my legs and they were bent and I was like ‘this is bad.’ ”

Reinfeld said dispatchers received a call just after 1 p.m. and sent a team of snowmobilers to go in with a sled to rescue Sciortino.

“They at some point requested a helicopter and Airlift Northwest happened to be nearby in Wenatchee and responded to the scene. They were able to land within about 50 yards, Reinfeld said.

Sciortino said he was lucky to have so many trained professionals come to his assistance.

“I had the best people out there taking care of me,” he said.

First his friends, including a firefighting rappeler, climbed to high enough ground to get reception to make calls for help. They also helped him out of the cold water.

“I was in the stream hole for a little bit, getting kind of cold but I didn’t care about the cold at that time, I was kind of more worried about the pain and stuff.”

From there, rescue personnel stabilized his legs with splints and carried him to the helicopter.

“I couldn’t have asked for better weather for the helicopter to get me and I couldn’t have asked for a better spot for the helicopter to land and I couldn’t have asked for better people to help me out,” Sciortino said.