South Lake Tahoe resident saved by 9-year-old son | TahoeDailyTribune.com

South Lake Tahoe resident saved by 9-year-old son

South Lake Tahoe resident John Taylor laid next to his wrecked snowmobile Sunday while his 9-year-old son, Bode Beirdneau, dug him out of the deep snow in the Blue Lakes area of Alpine County. The lower half of Taylor's body was trapped under the snowmobile after it struck a tree at speeds of at least 30 mph. Taylor said the gas had gotten stuck, and he tried jumping off seconds before the collision. However, momentum threw him back into the snowmobile, sucking him into the tracks and snapping his femur. "Basically I was thinking that I'm in a bad situation right here and I don't know how bad I'm hurt, but I'm definitely hurt bad," he said, while recovering at home Thursday just four days after being rescued by his son. "Yeah, I thought I might die. Because I couldn't tell my injuries at that point, and I didn't know I could even get out." Bode, a Marin County resident who was riding his own snowmobile, freed his dad quickly before preparing to find help. But after riding in the county's backcountry that afternoon, the two had wound up a ways from any roads or people. With few options, Taylor told his son to go east until he hit Blue Lakes Road. "I go, 'you'll make the road. All you have to do is make it through these trees,'' Taylor said. "'You know how to do it.'" Before Bode could set out, though, he had to restart his snowmobile by tugging the starter chord. Taylor usually did this for his son because the chord can be difficult to pull. But Bode, without his dad's assistance, "gathered his strength" and started the vehicle for what was probably the first time, according to his father. The boy took off and quickly found the road, and he followed it toward Highway 88. "My dad told me to go back to the road and go find help," Bode told the Marin Independent Journal. "I freaked out because I didn't know where to go." He eventually spotted an employee with Lake Tahoe Adventures — a company that offers snowmobile tours — about six or seven miles later. The employee immediately radioed for help, and Bode led emergency responders back to his dad. Taylor, who was "in a decent amount of pain," was then tended to by emergency personnel and flown out of the area. He was treated for his injuries at Barton Memorial Hospital. On Thursday, Taylor said he's grateful to be alive and called his son "my hero". "He is just very composed and mature for his age, and he stepped up without panicking and did what was necessary to save me," he said. "And I'm super proud of him."

Former fire captain killed in snowmobile accident

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – A retired South Lake Tahoe Fire Captain died Tuesday following a snowmobile accident near Blue Lakes, off California State Route 88. Steve Taylor, 58, suffered a head injury after striking a tree on his way back to the Blue Lakes Sno-Park about 5 p.m., according to a statement from Alpine County Sheriff’s Lt. Ron Michitarian. The accident occurred about one mile south of the Sno-Park, Michitarian said. Personnel from Alpine County Sheriff’s Office, California Highway Patrol. Woodfords Volunteer Fire Department, Lake Valley Fire Protection District, CALSTAR and Lake Tahoe adventures, which operates snowmobile tours in the area, responded to the accident. Taylor was pronounced dead upon arrival of a CALSTAR helicopter ambulance crew, Michitarian said. Taylor was riding all day in the popular snowmobiling area with two friends prior to the accident, Michitarian said. “Preliminary investigation indicates the accident may have been a result of an unknown medical episode,” Michitarian said. An autopsy and toxicological examination are pending. Alpine County Sheriff’s Office and the California Highway Patrol are jointly investigating the accident. The sheriff’s office is investigation the death, while Highway Patrol is investigation the accident, Michitarian said. City staff expressed sympathy and condolences to Taylor’s family and friends in a Wednesday e-mail from city clerk Susan Alessi. Flags at city offices will be flown at half-staff until Taylor’s funeral, or for five days if no funeral is held, Alessi said. Memorial service arrangements will be announced when available, Alessi said.

Lake Tahoe’s South Shore offers several family-friendly snowmobiling options

Repeatedly throwing out the universal sign for "hang loose" on his way around the snowmobile circle track across the street from MontBleu Resort & Casino Lake Tahoe Friday, Jan. 8, Tyler Grosdider's first time on a snowmobile appeared to be a resounding success. It wasn't a bad time for his dad, Chad Grosdider, either. "This place is a blast," said the Santa Cruz, California, resident while taking turns snowmobiling with his wife Tracie and their 10-year-old at the track, which also includes a tubing hill, sleigh rides and a snow play area. "It's his first time doing this stuff," Chad Grosdider said. "He did great." Lake Tahoe's South Shore offers several opportunities for first-timers and families to experience the snow via high-horsepower machines. Tahoe Snowmobiles operates the Stateline snowmobile track, as well as similar family-friendly tracks at Lake Tahoe Golf Course and Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. With a wealth of snow on the ground this year, the tracks have been popular spots to get a taste of how a throttle, burst of speed and dash down a straightaway can be a fun way to spend the day. Friday was a relatively quiet day at the Stateline track, but several snowmobiles zoomed around, and a gaggle of kids and their parents took laps on the nearby tubing hill. The site can get busy on weekends, said Taylor Shearer, spokeswoman for Tahoe Snowmobiles. She recommended getting to a track early on weekends to beat the crowds. The tracks are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. "We've been very busy this year," Shearer said. "It's been great." Renting a snowmobile at the circle tracks costs $65 per half hour, and family members can take turns during that time. The price includes two helmets. "It's nice because people can switch off on the snowmobiles," Shearer said. For full-sized snowmobiles, operators must be at least 16 years old, have a valid drivers license and be accompanied by guardian. Those under 16 can ride as passengers on the full-sized sleds, and 6-12 year olds can drive smaller snowmobiles on the new kiddie track at the Stateline location. More information on the circle tracks is available at http://tahoesnowmobiles.com For a trail-oriented snowmobile adventures, Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center, 4 miles west of the state line, offers morning, noon, afternoon and full-moon rides on 45 miles of trails. The center accommodates a variety of skill levels and features lake views among its rides. More information on the center is available http://www.zephyrcove.com. Lake Tahoe Adventures offers backcountry snowmobile trips, also for a range of ability levels, in Hope Valley. More information on Lake Tahoe Adventures' tours is available at http://www.laketahoeadventures.com.

Snowmobile Lake Tahoe: The South Shore offers several family-friendly options

Repeatedly throwing out the universal sign for "hang loose" on his way around the snowmobile circle track across the street from MontBleu Resort & Casino Lake Tahoe Friday, Jan. 8, Tyler Grosdider's first time on a snowmobile appeared to be a resounding success. It wasn't a bad time for his dad, Chad Grosdider, either. "This place is a blast," said the Santa Cruz, California, resident while taking turns snowmobiling with his wife Tracie and their 10-year-old at the track, which also includes a tubing hill, sleigh rides and a snow play area. "It's his first time doing this stuff," Chad Grosdider said. "He did great." For those who want to snowmobile Lake Tahoe, the South Shore offers several opportunities for first-timers and families to experience the snow via high-horsepower machines. Tahoe Snowmobiles operates the Stateline snowmobile track, as well as similar family-friendly tracks at Lake Tahoe Golf Course and Tahoe Paradise Golf Course. Snowmobiling is one of several Lake Tahoe winter activities that are available to the public. With a wealth of snow on the ground this year, snowmobiling in South Lake Tahoe has been especially popular and the tracks have been popular spots to get a taste of how a throttle, burst of speed and dash down a straightaway can be a fun way to spend the day. Friday was a relatively quiet day at the Stateline track, but several snowmobiles zoomed around, and a gaggle of kids and their parents took laps on the nearby tubing hill. The site can get busy on weekends, said Taylor Shearer, spokeswoman for Tahoe Snowmobiles. She recommended getting to a track early on weekends to beat the crowds. The tracks are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays. "We've been very busy this year," Shearer said. "It's been great." Renting a snowmobile at the circle tracks costs $65 per half hour, and family members can take turns during that time. The price includes two helmets. "It's nice because people can switch off on the snowmobiles," Shearer said. There are a wide variety of South Lake Tahoe snowmobile tours. For full-sized snowmobiles, operators must be at least 16 years old, have a valid drivers license and be accompanied by guardian. Those under 16 can ride as passengers on the full-sized sleds, and 6-12 year olds can drive smaller snowmobiles on the new kiddie track at the Stateline location. More information on the circle snowmobile Lake Tahoe tracks is available at http://tahoesnowmobiles.com For a trail-oriented snowmobile adventures, Zephyr Cove Snowmobile Center, 4 miles west of the state line, offers morning, noon, afternoon and full-moon rides on 45 miles of trails. The center accommodates a variety of skill levels and features lake views among its rides. More information on the center is available http://www.zephyrcove.com. Lake Tahoe Adventures offers backcountry snowmobile trips, also for a range of ability levels, in Hope Valley. More information on Lake Tahoe Adventures' tours is available at http://www.laketahoeadventures.com.

Autopsy results inconclusive on cause of snowmobile crash

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. – An autopsy performed on a former South Lake Tahoe fire captain who was killed in a snowmobile accident last week did not reveal a medical condition that could have caused the accident, according to investigators. Steve Taylor, 58, was killed after hitting a tree near the Blue Lakes Sno-Park Tuesday. The Alpine County Sheriff’s Office initial statement regarding the accident said an “unknown medical episode” may have caused the crash, but a Thursday autopsy did not show any obvious health conditions, said Lt. Ron Michitarian. The autopsy showed Taylor died of a severed aorta caused by “multiple blunt force traumas” from the impact. Witnesses estimated Taylor was traveling about 70 mph prior to the crash. Determining what triggered the accident may not be possible, Michitarian said. “We hope to, that’s always our goal, but there are times when we go with our best guess,” Michitarian said. The California Highway Patrol is also investigating the crash. A representative of the CHP did not immediately return a phone call Tuesday.

Sno-parks offer easy stops for snow

There is more to winter than just skiing or snowboarding. Sno-parks offer plenty of snow sport opportunities, with little strain on the pocketbook. There are 22 Sno-parks to pick from in California, making sledding, cross country skiing and snowmobiling popular choices for winter fun. The following is a list of seven parks in the Lake Tahoe area: – Yuba Gap, located at Interstate 80, has a snow play area, sled slopes, cross country ski trails and limited downhill skiing. – Donner Summit, located at Interstate 80, is a popular cross country ski area and allows some snowmobiling. – Donner Lake, located at Interstate 80, features marked ski trails to Donner Lake and the Donner Party Historic Site. There is also a snow play area. – Blackwood Canyon, located on the west side of State Route 89, is a good place to go for cross country skiing and snowmobiling. – Taylor Creek, located on the west side of State Route 89, near Camp Richardson Resort, offers cross country skiing to Fallen Leaf Lake, limited snow play and a small sledding hill. – Echo Lake, located along the north side of U.S. Highway 50 is a great place to cross country ski. – Echo Summit, located along the south side of U.S. Highway 50 has an elaborate sledding hill, some cross country skiing and a well-known snow play area. With the exception of a small fee for skiing, Sno-parks are an inexpensive way to enjoy the chilly weather and get some exercise at the same time. Sno-park permits are required and sold at Donner Lake, Donner Summit, Echo Summit and Yuba Gap. Permits are valid at any Sno-park throughout the season. Day permits are priced at $5 and season permits cost $25. All proceeds from permit sales benefit snow removal and sanitation services. Donner Summit, Blackwood Canyon, Taylor Creek, Echo Lake and Echo Summit allow overnight parking. For information on Sno-parks, contact the California Department of Parks and Recreation Sno-park Program at (916) 324-1222 There are also snow tubing areas at Sierra-at-Tahoe and Kirkwood Mountain Resort.

OBITUARY: Capt. Stephen David Taylor

Stephen was born in Palo Alto, Ca to Kenneth Robert and June Taylor.  Steve moved with his family to Carmichael in 1961.  He graduated from La Sierra High School and received his Fire Science Degree from American River College.  His first job as a firefighter was in Monterey, Ca.  In 1979 he moved to Lake Tahoe and worked 2 years for Tahoe Douglas Fire Department before making his move to the City Of South Lake Tahoe Fire Department.  After 26 years of service he retired as a Fire Captain in August 2002.  Steve loved Lake Tahoe and enjoyed bike riding, snowmobiling, hiking and spending time at the family cabin in Meek’s Bay.  He also enjoyed Monday lunches at Steamers with all of his retired firefighter buddies.     Steve recently became a grandfather and considered this the best time in his life. He enjoyed spending time with and spoiling his 3 beautiful granddaughters,  Brena, Lila and Alexis. Steve is survived by his wife of 25 years, Carole Taylor, his children Chris and Renee Taylor and Brad and Roxanne Taylor.  He also leaves behind his parents, sister and brother-in-law Kathy and John Hegemann, nieces and nephews Courtney (Tony) Vann, Taylor Vann, Davis Vann, Ben Gray, Jenna Gray, Lisa (Trevor) James, Erin Hartzell, David Hartzell, Andrew Gordon, Katherine Congleton, Tyler Dameral, Brooke Dameral, and his wife’s siblings and their spouses.  A Celebration of Life will be held on: Tuesday, February 15th, 2011 at 11:00am Lake Tahoe Christian Fellowship 3580 Blackwood Rd, SLT. Required attire jeans and t-shirts!  Donations may be made to: The National MS Society P.O. Box 4527 New York, NY 10163 or South Lake Tahoe Fire Association 2101 Lake Tahoe Blvd #3 South Lake Tahoe, Ca 96150

Chris P. Kruger

Born Paul Chris Kruger Aug. 3, 1955, in Long Beach, Calif., to Paul and Marge Kruger, Chris P. Kruger passed away suddenly from heart failure on May 28, 2005, while snowmobiling in Amador County. He had been a resident of South Lake Tahoe for the past 21 years and had lived here previously from 1965 to 1969, attending South Tahoe Intermediate School. He graduated in 1973 from John F. Kennedy High School in Southern California and moved to Las Vegas shortly thereafter. He was employed by Bekins and Las Vegas Transfer and Storage for several years as a driver. Chris married Michele Jaynes on Dec. 22, 1979, in Las Vegas, where they spent the next five years before moving back to South Lake Tahoe in 1984. He was employed briefly by Hargis Security and Bell Limo. In 1986 he started Mr. Maintenance, a small lawn-care business that he and his wife built over the years into a full landscape contracting business employing more than 10 people. Through snowmobiling over the years, Chris made a lot of good friends – the kind that don’t come around very often. He loved to describe his trips and talk about the next trip with his buddies, including Frank. Chris had a passion for life, family and friends. He lived for today and loved to snowmobile. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Chris is survived by his wife, Michele Kruger of South Lake Tahoe; sons and daughters-in-law, Jeremy and Andreea Kruger, and Jesse and Cara Kruger of South Lake Tahoe; daughter, Danielle Kruger; father, Paul Kruger of Lake Elsinore, Calif.; mother-in-law, Barbara Meyer of Joplin, Mo.; sister and brother-in-law, Tina and Glen Archibald, and nephew, Joshua Taylor, all of Medford, Ore.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mitchell and Barbara Jaynes, and nephew, Joshua Jaynes, all of Joplin; brother-in-law, Michael Jaynes of Carl Junction, Mo.; sister-in-law, Melanie Geier, and nephews, Travis, Cody, and Rusty Geier, all of Cherokee, Kan., and his buddy, Ruudee, the family cat. A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday. Viewing will be from 10 a.m. to noon at McFarlane Mortuary and a reception will follow at 1 p.m. at the family home, 779 Eloise Ave., South Lake Tahoe. He will be inurned at Happy Homestead Cemetery at a later date.

Chris P. Kruger

Born Paul Chris Kruger Aug. 3, 1954, in Long Beach, Calif., to Paul and Marge Kruger, Chris P. Kruger passed away suddenly from heart failure on May 28, 2005, while snowboarding in Amador County. He had been a resident of South Lake Tahoe for the past 21 years and had lived here previously from 1965 to 1969, attending South Tahoe Intermediate School. He graduated in 1973 from John F. Kennedy High School in Southern California and moved to Las Vegas, Nev., shortly thereafter. He was employed by Bekins and Las Vegas Transfer and Storage for several years as a driver. Chris married Michele Jaynes on Dec. 22, 1979, in Las Vegas, where they spent the next five years before moving back to South Lake Tahoe in 1984. He was employed briefly by Hargis Security and Bell Limo. In 1986 he started Mr. Maintenance, a small lawn-care business that he and his wife built over the years into a full landscape contracting business employing more than 10 people. Through snowmobiling over the years, Chris made a lot of good friends – the kind that don’t come around very often. He loved to describe his trips and talk about the next trip with his buddies, including Frank. Chris had a passion for life, family and friends. He lived for today and loved to snowmobile. He will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him. Chris is survived by his wife, Michele Kruger of South Lake Tahoe; sons and daughters-in-law, Jeremy and Andreea Kruger, and Jesse and Cara Kruger of South Lake Tahoe; daughter, Danielle Kruger; father, Paul Kruger of Lake Elsinore, Calif.; mother-in-law, Barbara Meyer of Joplin, Mo.; sister and brother-in-law, Tina and Glen Archibald, and nephew, Joshua Taylor, all of Medford, Ore.; brother-in-law and sister-in-law, Mitchell and Barbara Jaynes, and nephew, Joshua Jaynes, all of Joplin; brother-in-law, Michael Jaynes of Carl Junction, Mo.; sister-in-law, Melanie Geier, and nephews, Travis, Cody, and Rusty Geier, all of Cherokee, Kan., and his buddy, Ruudee, the family cat. A Celebration of Life will take place Saturday. Viewing will be from 10 a.m. to noon at McFarlane Mortuary and a reception will follow at 1 p.m. at the family home, 779 Eloise Ave., South Lake Tahoe. He will be inurned at Happy Homestead Cemetery at a later date.

Snowmobilers asked to avoid areas with minimal snow

With snowpack in the Lake Tahoe Basin at low levels, the U.S. Forest Service is asking snowmobilers to shift their activities to locations with adequate snow coverage, within permitted snowmobile areas. Snowmobile operators should avoid bare dirt and patchy snow and should not ride across streams or over small trees or brush. Operating snowmobiles on too little snow creates ruts in the soil and crushes vegetation. "We are asking snowmobilers for voluntary cooperation in moving their activities to suitable locations," said Acting Forest Supervisor Jeff Marsolais. "Riding snowmobiles on too little snow not only causes resource damage, but can damage the machine as well." Tahoe Sierra Snowmobiling Club president, Greg McKay urges snowmobilers to comply with the Forest Service's request. "Our club endorses responsible snowmobiling by trying to minimize resource damage in low snow depth conditions," said McKay. "Please do your best to minimize your effect on vegetation, soil and waterways during these conditions." Causing resource damage can result in a citation punishable by a fine of $5,000 or more and/or six months in jail. The Forest Service will continue to monitor areas throughout the Lake Tahoe Basin for compliance to protect natural resources. Information on areas where snowmobiles are allowed is available in the online Snowmobile Guide at http://www.fs.usda.gov/goto/ltbmu/Snowmobiling or at the Forest Supervisor's office at 35 College Drive in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. 96150, 530-543-2694.