A Murray man went missing during a motorcycle trip and was later discovered with significant injuries following a motocross accident, according to the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office.
Chad Woolley, 52, was riding on some popular trails near Delle with his son and his son’s friend on Saturday. Around 3 p.m., the motorcycle Woolley’s son was riding ran out of gas and Woolley said he would go back to their truck and return with a gas can, said Tooele County Sheriff Lt. Ron Johnson.
After waiting for a long time, Woolley didn’t return and his son and his friend returned to the truck themselves, Johnson said. After arriving back at the truck, they found Woolley’s personal belongings were still at the truck, including his cell phone, and all of the gas cans were accounted for.
At that point, authorities were contacted and the Tooele County Sheriff’s Office reached out to the state Department of Public Safety for its Star 9 helicopter, which has thermal imaging for missing persons, Johnson said. Tooele County Search and Rescue was also called out and Woolley’s family independently organized searchers.
On the ground searches were delayed while the state DPS helicopter searched the area with thermal imaging. The helicopter located Woolley around 11:20 p.m., according to Johnson.
Woolley appeared to have crashed his motorcycle on the difficult terrain and suffered back and neck injuries, Johnson said. He was transported by medical helicopter to a Salt Lake-area hospital but his condition was unknown by the sheriff’s office on Monday.
The area where Woolley is riding is a popular destination but features tricky terrain, according to Johnson. He said the sheriff’s office responds to around 20 accidents in that area each year, where motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles and side-by-sides ride.
The sheriff’s office calls out the Star 9 helicopter about two or three times per year, Johnson said.