Motorcycling Whidbey sailor found in wilderness now at Harborview in intensive care
By JUSTIN BURNETT
Whidbey News Times Staff reporter
July 12, 2012 · Updated 12:20 PM
William "Billy" Wolf, the sailor from Whidbey Island Naval Air Station who spent two nights alone in the wilderness after being injured in a motorcycle accident, remains in serious condition at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle
According to Officer Tom Moliter, chief deputy of the Skagit County Sheriff's Office, Wolf, 43, was found Saturday morning on a forest service road in the Finney-Cumberland area, south of the South Skagit Highway.
That was two days after he went on a motorcycle ride on Thursday, July 5.
Wolf was immediately airlifted to Harborview by the Navy's Search and Rescue unit. Hospital officials said Thursday he remains in intensive care and is in serious condition.
"His injuries were intensive and his recovery will be long," said Tony Popp, a base public affairs officer.
Wolf is a senior chief aviation machinist's mate with Electronic Attack Squadron 136, "The Gauntlets." He was reported missing Friday morning by members of his squadron when he failed to show up for work.
The Naval Criminal Investigative Service, working collaboratively with AT&T, used cellular telephone records to pinpoint his last known position and a search ensued of forested areas south of Highway 20, Popp said.
Multiple search and rescue and law enforcement agencies looked for the missing sailor but no trace of the man was found. Searchers got a break when one of Wolf's friends learned of his disappearance via a Facebook posting and pointed out a specific area where they had ridden together in the past.
According to the Washington State Patrol, Wolf was found at about 10:45 a.m. Saturday near a ditch along Forest Service Road 1755. His bike, a 2000 Honda Enduro, was found nearby.
The agency is reporting that Wolf was driving too fast to negotiate a turn, left the shoulder of the road and drove into a ditch where he was ejected.
Drugs or alcohol are not believed to have been involved.
Both Popp and Moliter commented that Wolf was found via a cooperative effort between the Navy and the Skagit County Sheriff's Office.
"We have a mantra that shipmates take care of shipmates," Popp said.
And that's what happened here, he said. They worked together and were able to find Wolf before it was too late.
A website site has been established for Wolf and anyone wishing to pass on well wishes can do so at www.caringbridge.org/visit/billywolf.
An earlier version of this story contained inaccurate location names.Contact Whidbey News Times Staff reporter Justin Burnett at email@example.com or 360-675-6611 ext. 5054.