INSTAGRAM

Massive effort brought Utah couple home from Thailand after elephant accident

Oct 2, 2023, 10:40 PM | Updated: Oct 4, 2023, 11:31 am

MURRAY — A traumatic experience for a Utah couple vacationing in Thailand meets a first-of-its-kind mission for LifeFlight here in Utah.

Nicole Siri and Mark Martin are currently at Intermountain Medical Center more than two weeks after jumping off an elephant when it became agitated and out of control in Thailand.

They arrived here Friday after staying in a Thailand hospital for about two weeks.

The two were vacationing in Thailand and, as part of the trip, they wanted to have an experience with elephants. Riding one seemed like a fun way to spend a day. But that day went terribly wrong when the elephant they were on became agitated, threw off the trainer, and started running.

Mark Martin posted the video from his phone on a YouTube channel.

From her hospital bed in Murray, Nicole said they both knew they were in trouble when the elephant not only threw the trainer but then rammed a man on a moped.

Thats when they determined their best option would be to jump off of the large animal.

“It’s a good, probably 10 feet,” Nicole Siri told KSL TV via Zoom as she lay in her hospital bed. When she jumped, she broke her back but the elephant left her alone. Mark wasn’t as lucky. 

“When he jumped the elephant, like turned and went in on him,” Nicole described. “And so then I see the elephant, like gorging Mark I don’t know if he’s stepping on him.” She continued, “I can’t see that. All I see is the back end of an elephant bent over him.”

As the elephant rammed his head into Mark’s hips, he shattered Mark’s pelvis and caused internal injuries. Mark has also broken two vertebrae in his back.

Both were taken to a hospital in Thailand. That’s when a friend of Mark’s arranged for Life Flight to travel halfway around the world to get them home.

“It was a massive trip,” LifeFlight operations director Kent Johnson said. He was part of the meticulously planned mission to bring Nicole and Mark safely back to Utah.

“It was the furthest we’ve ever flown,” he said. The hospitalized Americans couldn’t have been happier to see them.

“They treated us awesome on the plane,” Nicole said. “They’re super comfortable, it was a great experience actually.” Nicole is a hairdresser and said a client was one of the five medical staff on that 18-hour flight. She immediately felt at ease.

The mission included five pilots, five medical staff, several stops and perfect planning for the Challenger 604 super jet. 

Now, as both lie in hospital beds, their recoveries will be extensive. Nicole has learned a lot. She said she’s now researched elephants more and said elephants tamed to take humans on rides suffer intense brutality and the constant strain on them is grueling.

It’s something she wants people to know. She said if you want an “elephant experience” find another way to appreciate them.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe* to help the couple with expenses incurred while they’re out of work.


*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisers and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Instagram

U.S. Secret Service agents converge to cover Republican presidential candidate former President Don...

Julie Carr Smyth, Jill Colvin, Colleen Long, Michael Balsmo, Eric Tucker and Michelle L. Price, The Associated Press

FBI says it has not determined a motive for assassination attempt on former President Donald Trump

BUTLER, Pa. (AP) — On the heels of an attempt to kill him, former President Donald Trump called Sunday for unity and resilience as shocked leaders across the political divide recoiled from the shooting that left him wounded but “fine.” A former fire chief attending the rally with family was killed, as was the gunman. Two other […]

50 minutes ago

Boyd Matheson follows the latest details after an attempted assassination was made on former Presid...

KSL TV

Sunday Edition: The attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump

Boyd Matheson sits down for a special episode of Sunday Edition following the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump.

3 hours ago

Security personnel inspect the scene in Butler, Pennsylvania, on July 13. (Brendan McDermid/Reuters...

Zoe Sottile, CNN

Man killed in Trump assassination attempt identified as firefighter Corey Comperatore

Firefighter Corey Comperatore was killed during the attempted assassination of former President Donald Trump, Pennsylvania Gov. Josh Shapiro said Sunday.

5 hours ago

This map shows the location of former President Trump in relation to the shooter Thomas Crooks. (Go...

Jessie Yeung, CNN

FBI identifies Trump rally shooter as 20-year-old Thomas Matthew Crooks

The suspected shooter who attempted an apparent assassination on former President Trump was identified as a 20-year-old man from Pittsburgh.

8 hours ago

President John F. Kennedy slumps against his wife as the bullet from an assassin strikes him in the...

Zachary B. Wolf, CNN

Long list of presidents have been shot or shot at

Multiple presidents and former presidents and candidates for president have been attacked in US history, according to a CNN report from 2011 and a list of instances of political violence that includes attacks on senators, congressmen and governors compiled by CNN’s research library.

18 hours ago

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump is helped off the stage at a campai...

Mark Jones

Utah leaders react to assassination attempt at Trump rally in Pennsylvania

Former President Donald Trump was rushed off a stage at a Pennsylvania rally Saturday by U.S Secret Service agents after apparent gunshots were heard in the crowd.

22 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

young male technician is repairing a printer at office...

Les Olson

Unraveling the dilemma between leasing and buying office technology

Carefully weigh these pros and cons to make an informed decision that best suits your business growth and day-to-day operation. 

A kitchen in a modern farmhouse....

Lighting Design

A room-by-room lighting guide for your home

Bookmark this room-by-room lighting guide whenever you decide to upgrade your lighting or style a new home.

Photo courtesy of Artists of Ballet West...

Ballet West

The rising demand for ballet tickets: why they’re harder to get

Ballet West’s box office is experiencing demand they’ve never seen before, leaving many interested patrons unable to secure tickets they want.

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 internet safety tips for kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why printer security should be top of mind for your business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Massive effort brought Utah couple home from Thailand after elephant accident