Suspects give up after nearly freezing to death

El Dorad County sheriff's search and rescue team help save the life of two suspects on Jan. 23. Photo/Provided

El Dorado County sheriff’s search and rescue team members help save the lives of two suspects on Jan. 23. Photo/Provided

Two Northern California men were apprehended Saturday morning after leading officers on a chase that nearly resulted in them freezing to death in a remote area of El Dorado County.

Tristen Crossland, 30, a parolee from Eureka, and Derek Dion, 32, a probationer from Hayfork who had four warrants for his arrest, were taken to a hospital for treatment before being turned over to state officials.

The pursuit started Jan. 22 when the two fled on foot after being stopped by a California Department of Fish and Wildlife officer near Wrights Lake Road and Highway 50. El Dorado County sheriff’s deputies and U.S. Forest Service officers joined the search for the men.

A firearm was allegedly dropped by one of the men and recovered by officers. Officers said they found illegal drugs in the suspects’ vehicle.

The two men ran into the snowy canyon and crossed the river. A few hours later officers saw them cross the river again. An officer yelled, saying they were in danger of freezing and to give up, but the two ignored that advice.

Deputies said at 8:40 Friday night Crossland called 911 and reported he and Dion were somewhere across the river and were freezing to death and in fear of dying.

Search and rescue then got involved. The duo was found at 9:17am Jan. 23 suffering from severe hypothermia and probable frostbite.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report