BOISE, Idaho — Authorities say a set of camp trailer safety chains and quick, careful work by emergency crews saved two people after their pickup truck plunged off a bridge, leaving them dangling above a deep gorge in southern Idaho.
Idaho State Police responded to the accident Monday afternoon, said ISP spokeswoman Lynn Hightower. A trooper found a man and a woman inside the pickup truck that was dangling, nose-down, off the side of the bridge spanning the Malad Gorge. The gorge is narrow but roughly 250 feet (76.20 metres) deep, roughly the height of a 20-story building.
The only thing keeping the pickup from falling was the set of “safety chains” attaching the camper trailer, which remained on the bridge, to the pickup’s hitch. Rescuers from the Idaho State Police and nearby local law enforcement and first responder agencies used a crane and other equipment to reach the occupants and hoist them to safety. Both were taken to hospitals, and neither appeared to have life-threatening injuries, Hightower said.
Workers were still attempting to pull the pickup from the precipice Monday evening.
“It was terrifying,” Hightower said. “It was definitely a heroic rescue from everybody that was out there, and thankfully, they’re all fine.”
It wasn’t immediately clear what caused the accident, and the case remains under investigation, Hightower said. Agencies from Gooding, Jerome and Twin Falls responded to the incident, along with regional sheriff’s offices and fire department and paramedic services.
“A rescue like this takes a lot of quick thinking and action but this is what they train for,” she said. “That training just paid off today, and two people are alive because of the hours and hours of training that these emergency responders do.”
Rebecca Boone, The Associated Press