Irvine teen dies following skateboard accident

monoparamedicsOn Monday, September 5 at approximately 11:45 a.m., Mammoth Lakes Police and Mono County Paramedics responded to West Bear Lake Road west of Minaret for an injured skateboarder.  Brett Bertsch, an 18 year old resident of Irvine and his younger brother were riding down West Bear Lake Road when Brett fell, landing on his head.  He was transported by ambulance to Mammoth Hospital and subsequently airlifted to a hospital in Nevada where he succumbed to his injuries.

Bertsch was not wearing a helmet.  Police Chief Dan Watson said, “Although this young man was not legally required to wear a helmet, this tragic incident demonstrates why everyone who rides a bicycle or skateboard should always wear protective equipment, especially a helmet.”

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k
k
11 years ago

There is such sadness regarding this news story. At the same time, I think it is important to realize it is just that – a news story – written to inform the public about an event (a very sad one) that took place on a street in the Town of… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  k

Yes I agree k ..

Vanessa
Vanessa
11 years ago

Brett’s major mode of transportation, like most in SoCal, was his longboard. You are correct. He also was with his younger brother and it was early in the day and he was on a trip with his dad – not drinking. He had just commented an hour earlier on his… Read more »

sierragrl
sierragrl
11 years ago

I think people are a bit off base with a lot of the comments here. It’s doubtful this skate boarder was weaving in and out of traffic, since there isn’t any on this road. And I doubt he had a beer in his hand. He was probably on a long… Read more »

Doug
Doug
10 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

Brett wasn’t weaving in & out of traffic. He didn’t have anything in his hand. He was on a long board. He & his brother were skating down the side of the street, going to meet with their dad at the bottom of the hill. He was a good kid.… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Doug

Doug .. God bless you all .. you are in my prayers …

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  sierragrl

yes sierragrl. It’s sad .. I can relate to being young once and thinking I was superman. All the years of riding bikes .. I never rode, and still do not ride them without a helmet, and a helmet saved my life once. Crashed at the bottom of a steep… Read more »

Big Rick
Big Rick
11 years ago

I know the kids think that wearing a helmet is “not cool”. I ran into a friend of mine at the football game the other night and he was there with his wife and their teenage son, who also was not wearing a helmet when he slipped on his skateboard.… Read more »

Amazed in Bishop
Amazed in Bishop
11 years ago

What a very sad story. I feel so sorry for his family and friends. Whether he was wearing a helmet or not does not take away from the tragedy of life lost. Perhaps the peanut gallery could hold off on the disparaging remarks… just for a little while.

Bob Loblaw
Bob Loblaw
11 years ago

So much for holding off…

shelley
shelley
11 years ago

What a shame. I have to say that Im tired of these kids riding down the middle of the streets darting out in front of cars all summer. Im surprised that a car didnt hit him. We did build an awesome skateboard park for these people.. I suppose thats why… Read more »

Carveboarder
Carveboarder
11 years ago
Reply to  shelley

FYI
IT IS LEGAL TO SKATEBOARD OR BASICALLY DO WHAT EVER WANT IN ANY STREET AS LONG AS YOU DO NOT IMPEDE TRAFFIC!

Dan Watson
Dan Watson
11 years ago
Reply to  Carveboarder

That’s not accurate, Carveboarder. Someone riding a skateboard on the roadway has to follow the same rules as a pedestrian. California Vehicle Code Section 21967 allows local authorities to adopt rules and regulations controlling skateboards on the roadway. This tragedy may provide the incentive for the Town of Mammoth Lakes… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
11 years ago
Reply to  Carveboarder

Carveboarder…….What planet are you from?….It’s not legal to skateboard…or walk.crawl,run,or anything else on a street or highway…Do you think it’s up to traffic to avoid skateboarders riding down Main Street?…A statement like yours makes all skateboarders look like idiots.

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Read what the chief said Wayne.

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Big Al…..This story is from over a year ago….and if I remember right,I stated a comment about IF skateboarders are indeed allowed to ride on the streets of Mammoth Lakes along with vehicles,I think what I said was if a gun was held to my forehead and being forced to… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

Umm .. hit the car head on?

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Big AL

No Wayne, I hope you wouldn’t choose to hit either one .. because either would risk killing or injuring someone.

Vanessa Hudak
Vanessa Hudak
11 years ago

Brett was a terrific kid with a great smile and tons of friends. He was so loved and we all miss him terribly. My one hope is that all those who knew him take heed from this tragedy and wear helmets. RIP Brett …..gone too soon.

bobbie lee swagger
bobbie lee swagger
11 years ago

nice neighborhood there west bear lake

Tourbillon
Tourbillon
11 years ago

Police Chief Dan Watson said, “Although this young man was not legally required to wear a helmet, this tragic incident demonstrates why everyone who rides a bicycle or skateboard should always wear protective equipment, especially a helmet.” Wouldn’t it be fitting, Chief, to let the grief over the tragedy run… Read more »

johndoeml
johndoeml
11 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Reading the article, it sounds like a helmet could have saved this kid’s life. Chief Watson’s recommendation is reasonable and appropriate.

Dan Watson
Dan Watson
11 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

That’s a good question, Tourbillon. Anytime something like this happens, it’s a difficult decision about what, if anything, should be released. I initially chose not to issue a news release on this tragic accident until a member of the local media called asking about it. A relative of Mr. Bertsch… Read more »

shelley
shelley
11 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

Hes doing his job. If people would follow the rules then we wouldnt be talking about this. Pretty soon someone will hit one of these kids with a car and it will be our fault. These kids are old enough to understand the rules Im with the chief

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  shelley

These are not all kids .. in fact a fair amount of them are adults. I’m not sure any rules were broken here .. if this is the case, you can be sure that will change very soon, as the tort liability will change that!

melanie
melanie
11 years ago
Reply to  Tourbillon

his lung was punctured and he stopped breathing. he was pronounced brain dead. I was surfing the web and trying to find information on Brett. My sister was with him when he died. However, its nice to read an ” I told you so” minutes after Bretts death.

k
k
11 years ago

While it is tragic what happened to this youth, his death underscores the danger of skateboarding on our town’s roads and bike paths – especially without helmets. Numerous times I have seen groups of skateboarders (without helmets and sometimes with a beer in hand) riding down the middle of Lake… Read more »

Wayne Deja
Wayne Deja
11 years ago
Reply to  k

Kinda scary to see what behavior is being allowed to happen up there,from what”k” has stated….and little wonder something like this would happen.Do you mean to tell me rowdy,drunken skateboarders are allowed to travel down the middle of the roads,with beer in hand,and allowed to do so on bike-paths and… Read more »

Big AL
Big AL
10 years ago
Reply to  Wayne Deja

Wayne, you sure know how to take a comment and run with it .. one comment about a bee,r occasionally, whether that is true or not, and I am sure it is true that there have been alcohol involved in some instances. You turn them into a rowdy bunch of… Read more »