Crews rescue Idaho couple, dogs from pickup hanging over gorge

Crews rescue Idaho couple, dogs from pickup hanging over gorge

(Courtesy Gooding County Sheriff's Office via EastIdahoNews)

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TWIN FALLS, Idaho – A pickup truck dangled off a bridge near Twin Falls Monday evening and resulted in what Idaho State Police Troopers describe as a heroic rescue.

The crash occurred at 2:42 p.m. on Interstate 84 over Malad Gorge, according to a news release from ISP. The driver of a 2004 F-350 pickup pulling a 30-foot camp trailer lost control and began to swerve across the road. He knocked out a guard rail and drove off the bridge. As a trooper arrived, the pickup was hanging by a safety chain connected to a camp trailer hanging about 80 to 100 feet above the bottom of the gorge.

The trooper called out to the couple inside the vehicle, who were reportedly held in place by their seat belts. They replied that they were all right and not seriously hurt. Two small dogs were inside as well.

A deputy with Gooding County Sheriff's Office arrived a short time later. The trooper and the deputy got another set of chains from a semitruck driver and attached them to the dangling pickup to strengthen its hold until rescue crews got there.

It wasn't long before the Magic Valley Paramedics Special Operations Rescue Team arrived. They rappeled off the bridge and attached a harness to each victim before pulling them and the dogs to safety.

The names of the victims have not been released, but they are from Garden City. The driver was a 67-year-old man and the passenger was a 64-year-old woman. Both were taken by ambulance to a nearby hospital with injuries that were not life-threatening. The dogs were taken to a family member's home in Magic Valley.

Both eastbound lanes were blocked for several hours as crews worked to rescue the victims and clean up the wreckage. ISP is grateful to everyone who responded.

"This was a tremendous team effort that took a quick response and really showed the dedication and training of our community of first responders," said Capt. David Neth of the Idaho State Police District 4 in Jerome. "This is something we train and prepare for, but when it happens and people's lives literally hang in the balance, it takes everyone working together, and then some."

"I am just so proud of our team," field supervisor for Magic Valley Paramedics SORT Chad Smith added. "It shows what all agencies … can do working together."

In addition to ISP and Gooding County Sheriff's Office, the other agencies involved include Gooding County EMS, Gooding Fire Department, Gooding Rural Fire Department, the Jerome City Fire Department, Air St Luke's, the Idaho Department of Fish & Game and Jerome County Sheriff's Office.


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