After near-fatal ziplining accident, Kern County travel agencies call on people to get insured

The man is at hospital with traumatic brain injury

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - A Bakersfield man remains stranded across the border after a near-fatal accident.

Now, friends and family of Brian Hodges are pushing for people to consider taking the extra steps to stay safe while on vacation.

"This is an eye opening experience for all of us," said Calvin and Enjoli Black, friends of the couple whose vacation in Cabo San Lucas turned into a nightmare. 

Hodges suffered a traumatic brain injury and remains in Mexico . Friends say the couple's health insurance was denied because they didn't have international coverage and had to pay $50,000 out-of-pocket.  

"These types of accidents are so rare and unfortunate," said Ray Watson, president of Uniglob Empire Travel in Bakersfield. "Most people end up buying them because they have an elderly parent or maybe they have a child that is young or prone to sickness and in those cases, buying insurance is very common," Watson said.

Travel agents around Kern County encourage any traveler to obtain insurance that not only covers a trip cancelation, but the basics which include medical evaluations.

Agents say most insurance plans are affordable to pay in case of an emergency.

"If someone comes in and buys an airline ticket and doesn't ask for help or assistance on their trip, we may not push it," said Watson, "but typically we're involved in more details in which case we do like to offer our assistance."


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