First Responder Talks About Risky Rescue In Big Cottonwood Canyon

Jan 25, 2021, 5:29 PM | Updated: 7:40 pm

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah – A wild crash up Big Cottonwood Canyon was caught on tape, showing the moment two vehicles went right over the edge.

Everyone survived, but a woman who was trapped inside one of the vehicles had to be carefully rescued.

“Seeing the video of those cars going over, that would be terrifying,” said Brian Anderton, a battalion chief with Unified Fire Authority. “Just with a very narrow shoulder, the road drops about 75 feet down a steep embankment.”

Anderton was part of the team that was called in to rescue the victims of the crash.

“We had a lot of concerns for the people who were involved and knew it would be technical and probably a long operation to get them out safely,” he said.

The accident happened around 2 p.m. Sunday.

A pick-up truck coming down the canyon right above the “S-curve” can been seen on dash cam video spinning out and hitting a Subaru. Both vehicles went off the edge, and the pick-up truck headed straight into the creek below.

Three people in the Subaru were able to get out safely on their own, as well as the driver of the pick-up. But a female passenger was another story. She was trapped in the truck, upside-down in the creek.

“The rescue itself was certainly difficult and dangerous. Sliding down the steep rock-covered hill that was snowy and icy,” said Anderton. “It was cold for the victims and it was cold for our workers who were in the water for quite awhile.”

Rescuers brought in the jaws of life to cut the truck open. They then had to build a complicated rope system up the steep embankment and back to the roadway.

After about two hours, they had the woman safely in an ambulance and on her way to the hospital.

“I think all things considered, we had some people get out of there pretty luckily, having that car roll down that hill, flip over, be upside down in the creek,” said Anderton. “Between the cold weather and the water, there’s so many things that could have gone wrong.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Tooele man arrested, accused of biting off part of teen’s ear

A man who allegedly thought a teenage boy was being disrespectful to his mother has been arrested and accused of partially biting off the boy's ear.
14 hours ago
Zipline demonstrates how it's fixed-wing drones deliver prescriptions and other items from pharmaci...
Tamara Vaifanua

Drone prescription delivery service takes flight in Utah

Get your next prescription without leaving your home. Zipline, a new drone delivery service, lifted off Tuesday from South Jordan.
14 hours ago
Northbound traffic closed on I-15 as officials investigate. (UDOT)...
Michael Houck

One dead, one in critical condition after being hit while changing tires in Ogden

One person is dead after being hit while changing tires on Interstate 15 Tuesday morning.
14 hours ago
FILE (Provo Police Department/Facebook)...
Michael Houck

Motorcyclist dies after colliding with a van in Provo

A 47-year-old man is dead after colliding with a van in Provo Tuesday morning.
14 hours ago
FILE (Getty Images)...
Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Father, son found deceased inside West Jordan home

West Jordan police say a father and son were found shot to death inside their home Monday.
14 hours ago
Eliza Pace

One killed, two injured in crash involving three cars

One person is dead and two others are in the hospital after a fatal crash involving three cars. 
14 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Hand turning a thermostat knob to increase savings by decreasing energy consumption. Composite imag...
Lighting Design

5 Lighting Tips to Save Energy and Money in Your Home

Advances in lighting technology make it easier to use smart features to cut costs. Read for tips to save energy by using different lighting strategies in your home.
Portrait of smiling practitioner with multi-ethnic senior people...
Summit Vista

How retirement communities help with healthy aging

There are many benefits that retirement communities contribute to healthy aging. Learn more about how it can enhance your life, or the life of your loved ones.
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to choose what MBA program is right for you: Ask these questions before you apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Cloud storage technology with 3d rendering drawer with files in cloud...
PC Laptops

How backing up your computer can help you relieve stress

Don't wait for something bad to happen before backing up your computer. Learn how to protect your data before disaster strikes.
young woman with stickers on laptop computer...
Les Olson

7 ways print marketing materials can boost your business

Custom print marketing materials are a great way to leave an impression on clients or customers. Read for a few ideas to spread the word about your product or company.
young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
First Responder Talks About Risky Rescue In Big Cottonwood Canyon