PROVO – A fire inspector and driver stepped in to help a woman whose SUV rolled into the river just below Sundance Mountain Resort Thursday afternoon.
“I see a red BMW sideways on (state Route) 92,” said Randy Crowther, fire inspector with the Utah County Fire Marshal. “I stopped to see what was going to happen with him and as I’m watching him, this FJ Cruiser coming down behind him is trying to get stopped without rear-ending him and you could see it swerving and fishtailing a little bit as it lost traction, and then almost in slow motion it slipped off the right shoulder and onto (its) side and then slid down into the river — kind of landed on the roof and the passenger side of the truck about 15 feet below the road.”
Crowther said he radioed in the crash to dispatch and then joined the BMW driver in climbing down the rocks to get on top of the vehicle to check on the SUV’s driver.
“She was pretty upset and she was scared but she wasn’t hurt,” Crowther said. “She just needed to kind of try to hang out until we got help there so we could get enough people to help get her out of her vehicle.”
Paramedics checked on the woman, Crowther said, and then the group helped her climb out of her seatbelt and make it safely out the tailgate of her FJ Cruiser.
“Anytime something happens where we can lend a hand — we’re happy to do that,” Crowther said.
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Crowther said that area of the canyon can be particularly treacherous.
“Every time it snows, the first hour before they get plows on it that’s a really slick spot,” Crowther said. “My whole life people have been sliding off that road and into that river and 23 years as a police officer in my prior career (there were) plenty of them.”
He cautioned everyone to be careful on slick roads this winter.
“Cold weather is dangerous on its own,” Crowther said. “Add snow or rain and you just really better be prepared and slow down and be careful. Don’t go if you don’t absolutely have to (go).”