Amazing Rescue! Trailer Chain Saves Couple From Certain Death
Perhaps you've come across this as it happened two years ago, but I was sent a link to this story this morning and it was astounding enough that I wanted to pass it along to you.
Steve and Nicki Cunningham were towing their 30-foot travel trailer to Idaho Falls through the Malad Gorge when a huge gust of wind blew their Ford F-350 off the road. In a heartbeat, the Cunningham's truck flipped over the guard rail and went off the bridge.
But in a stroke of good fortune, their travel trailer rolled onto its side and slid hard into the railing, but stopped. At that moment, and for the next 68 minutes, the Cunninghams found themselves staring down the 100-foot gorge, their truck dangling from the safety chain attached from their truck to the camper trailer.
Yep, a 4,000-pound truck with the couple inside was hanging over the gorge from a metal chain.
Shortly after the accident, a passing trucker jumped out of his vehicle and helped secure the pickup with a second chain, but it would be a long hour-plus for the Cunninghams before rescuers from the Magic Valley Paramedics Special Operations Rescue Team were able to hoist them to safety.
Here's a statement from the Magic Valley SORT team:
According to witnesses, the driver of the pickup, a 2004 F-350 pulling an approximately 30-foot camp trailer, lost control. The truck and camper swerved hitting the right shoulder barrier, then went left until the truck was sliding on the left side guardrail. The truck then tipped over the bridge, with the camper blocking both eastbound lanes. Only the safety chain attached between the truck and the camper kept the truck from falling. The Malad Gorge is approximately 80 to 100 feet below the bridge.
"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."
So many people use the word literally incorrectly, but in this case, Neth was dead on when he said the Cunninghams' lives were "literally hanging in the balance."
Fortunately, the Cunninghams came out of the accident OK, and rescuers even saved their two dogs, who were also in the pickup.
But what an experience.
And someone should buy the guy who welded that safety chain together a drink. Well done!