Couple recovers after being hit by falling rocks while driving in Utah

Estimated read time: 2-3 minutes

SALEM — A husband and wife were recovering together in a care facility Monday after a road hazard caught them by surprise two weeks earlier on the road to Helper.

Quirino Navarro and his wife, Luz, were driving along Highway 6 in the Price Canyon area north of Helper when large rocks began falling from the cliff face in front of them and on top of them.

"I see the rocks coming this way, but there's nothing I can do about it," Navarro told KSL-TV in an interview. "(One rock) comes straight from the sky, in like this, so we have no chance to do anything."

That rock came through the windshield of the couple's SUV and struck them, causing multiple fractures in the bones in Quirino's right thigh and Luz's left thigh.

"The one that hit us is no less than 120 lbs.," the husband said, acknowledging the massive rock could have weighed up to 200 lbs.

Navarro said he likely still faced two more weeks in the rehabilitation facility in Salem. He said doctors told him it could be up to a year before his leg is fully healed.

He said his wife faced a shorter recovery.

It was believed, Navarro said, that perhaps the rocks were loosened during a previous rain storm, though he said there was blue sky overhead when the rocks fell.

On June 20 following the accident, Helper City Police Department cautioned drivers to be aware of falling rocks in the canyon after rain storms.

"Although there isn't too much you can do in order to avoid the rock, just be aware it is a problem," the department warned.

Navarro said the experience was "scary," and he expressed concerns about the potential that what happened could happen to someone else.

He questioned if road engineers might be able to take a closer look at the rock faces next to the road and potentially come up with a solution.

For now, he also cautioned drivers to slow down and watch closely for the potential hazard as they pass through the area.

"This is what happened," Navarro said. "What else can we do?"

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