Couple & Dogs Left Dangling Over 100-Ft. Gorge When Pickup Truck Loses Control On Bridge

An Idaho couple was left dangling over a 100-ft gorge after their vehicle broke through a guardrail on a bridge.

Jimmy Orr

March 16, 20212 min read

Idaho gorge
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

It’s probably safe to say that a Garden City, Idaho, couple’s vacation didn’t go the way they planned.

A driver of a pickup truck pulling a 30-foot trailer lost control of his vehicle on Monday while driving across the Malad Gorge Bridge on Interstate 84 in southern Idaho.

It just so happens that the Malad Gorge bridge is appropriately named as the gorge beneath it reaches a depth of about 100 feet.

The truck plunged off the bridge but stayed connected to the trailer by the safety chain, which kept the vehicle from dropping onto the gorge.

The two people and the two dogs were left dangling over the gorge for hours. 

All survived the ordeal due to what’s being called a “heroic rescue” by the Gooding County (Utah) Sheriff’s Office and the Magic Valley Paramedics Special Operations Rescue Team (SORT).

Soon after deputies arrived, they connected more chains to the vehicle so it wouldn’t break away from the trailer and plunge into the canyon.

Then the emergency responders showed up and did what they do: out-of-the-ordinary rescues.

“SORT members were able to rappel down to the dangling pickup truck and attached a harness to each victim allowing rescuers to raise each to safety,” a spokesman for the rescue team said. (Yes, that means the dogs too).

“This was a tremendous team effort that took a quick response and really showed the dedication and training of our community of first responders,” Capt. David Neth of the Idaho State Police told East Idaho News. “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.”

Troopers said the couple was wearing seat belts. No word on what kept the dogs in place.

As for the truck, it was also rescued.

The rescue team told Cowboy State Daily that once the occupants were out of the vehicle, the SORT team was able to to place rigging on the truck for a local tow company. They used a heavy rotator to remove it.

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Jimmy Orr

Executive Editor

A third-generation Wyomingite, Jimmy Orr is the executive editor and co-founder of Cowboy State Daily.