Back in 2021, 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!

Malad Gorge Rescue

Compelling pictures from the amazing rescue of an older couple in Malad Gorge in Idaho.

Gallery Credit: All photos by Magic Valley Paramedics

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Southern California To Las Vegas Bullet Train: The Future Of Travel


Have you ever driven from Southern Utah to Southern California?

The trip through the Virgin River Gorge and on through Mesquite into Las Vegas isn't bad most of the time. But that leg from Vegas to Los Angeles or San Diego is brutal.

No, it's worse than that. It flat out sucks.

Fifteen-mile traffic jams, freeway standstills, pollution, heat and a crawling pace make it miserable, especially on weekends and holidays.

But in a story that seemingly has flown mostly under the radar, a group called Brightline West thinks they have an answer to all that -- a bullet train connecting Southern California to Las Vegas.

From the newswire:

"The company Brightline West is planning to spend more than $10-billion laying the tracks down. It wants three-point-seven-five-billion dollars in federal funding. All six of Nevada's elected federal lawmakers and four House members from California tell U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg they support the proposal."

Vegas is all-in as the train would be a huge boon to tourism, basically giving access to millions of Southern Californians the playground that is Las Vegas.

The fact that there is another high-speed train already in place in the United States -- the East coast of Florida has a high-speed train between Miami and West Palm Beach -- makes this one more plausible.

Construction is already underway through the Mojave Desert. The train is expected to make stops in Hesperia and Rancho Cucamonga, terminating eventually in the Los Angeles area.

The train would top out at around 200-miles per hour and would cut the time it takes to travel the roughly 270-mile trip in half.

Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen told the Associated Press, “This project is a major priority because it will make southern Nevada more accessible to millions of visitors each year," she said, adding that it “will boost our economy and create more good-paying jobs.”

The project has passed several hurdles, including making it through the incredibly difficult Environmental Impact phase. Money now becomes the biggest obstacle.

A draft environmental assessment of the project was made public last October and the Federal Railroad Administration is expected to finalize permits in July. The company said about 70 percent of funding will be private, using a combination of debt and equity.

Amtrak previously had a passenger line through the desert, but that service ended nearly 30 years ago.

Brightline West trains would connect Las Vegas, Victorville, California, and Rancho Cucamonga — a city in San Bernardino County -- with a passenger station on a suburban Los Angeles light rail line.

So when will it become a reality?

According top the Las Vegas Review-Journal, "Brightline executives are hoping to open the western route, with speeds up to 200 mph, by 2028, in time for the Los Angeles Olympics. They plan to break ground in the spring if they complete financing."

Brightline estimates that 50 million people per year travel between Southern California and Las Vegas, more than 40 million of them in cars.

“They’ll have to drive past our train station and then watch the trains whiz by them at 220 mph” while they’re stuck in traffic, Brightline CEO Wes Edens told the Review-Journal. “It’ll be phenomenal.”

The train tracks will be built mostly in the I-15 freeway median.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli

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