TWENTYNINE PALMS — A visitor from Japan was seriously injured in a climbing accident at Joshua Tree National Park on the afternoon of Oct. 23.
Yosuke Komiya, 36, of Yokohama sustained severe head trauma from a 25-foot fall while climbing on Cyclops Rock. He received life support at the scene from rescue personnel and was airlifted to Desert Regional Hospital for further treatment.
National Park Service rangers were notified of the accident at 3:50 p.m. Park rangers provided initial emergency care and were assisted by members of Joshua Tree Search and Rescue (JOSAR). San Bernardino County Fire and Morongo Basin Ambulance personnel arrived on scene to provide advanced life support while rangers secured a landing zone for helicopter medical transport. Mercy Air provided helicopter transport of Komiya to Desert Regional Hospital.
An initial investigation by park rangers revealed that the victim’s fall may have occurred when a second member of the two-person climbing team fell from a lead climbing position and struck Komiya, causing him to fall. The second climber was uninjured. The climbing accident is still under investigation.