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89-year-old hang-glider walks away after crashing into San Bernardino mountain

CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Oct. 3 AM Edition)
CBS News Los Angeles: The Rundown (Oct. 3 AM Edition) 02:00

Despite crashing into a mountain, an 89-year-old Gardena man whose hang gliding attempt went awry Saturday apparently counted it as a victory to be able to walk away from the mishap.

Authorities say Susumu Sagara planned to hang glide off Marshall Peak in the San Bernardino Mountains on Saturday, but experienced difficulties shortly after takeoff and crashed into the side of a mountain.

His group called 911 for help. At about 4:36 p.m., San Bernardino County sheriff's deputies received the reports, but requested help from the department's aviation unit due to the remote location of the crash site.  The crew of Air Rescue 306 found Sagara on the west side of the mountain and hoisted an air medic down to the Gardena resident. 

Sagara was not injured, and was fitted in a rescue harness to be hoisted into the helicopter.

Despite the failed hang gliding attempt, Sagara apparently remained in good spirits and asked to be dropped off at the hang glider landing area, where the rest of his group was waiting, authorities said. Medics walked with him halfway, but left Sagara to walk the rest of the way by himself at his request.

"As the medics walked back to the helicopter, Susumu put his arms in the air and began celebrating," San Bernardino County sheriff's officials said in a statement.

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