Grateful for rescue, Price couple donate UTV to police department
On Sept. 22 William and LaRue Bate took a tumble down a mountain, and lived to tell about it.
"We were wearing all the safety gear," said Mr. Bate during a presentation to the Price City council last Wednesday night. "If we had not followed the safety guidelines we would not be here tonight."
The couple had just driven off a trail and went end over end five times into Mathis Canyon, north of Price in the Book Cliffs. The machine stopped when it struck a tree, but they remained in it.
The canyon is in the north side of the cliffs at an elevation of 8,900 feet. Rescuers who were guided to them by other members of their party had a hard time getting the couple out and to the hospital. Sheriff's Department Sgt. Tory Christiansen and Price Police detective Brandon Sicilia were the first to reach the stranded couple.
"They were so wonderful," said Mr. Bate at the meeting. "They were very professional. We got excellent service from them."
Responding to the rescue call were Carbon County Search and Rescue, Price Fire and Rescue, Price Police and the Carbon County Sheriff's Department.
Once the Bates were secured to backboards that had been carried down, rescuers had to carry them up the slope and across to a small clearing in the brush that served as a helipad for a LifeFlight helicopter. It took two trips and it was a tight fit but the chopper got the couple out and to medical care.
On Wednesday, the Bates decided to hang up their off road driving gloves and donate the damaged UTV to the Price Public Safety Department. Price Police Chief Aleck Shilaos thanked them for their donation and said the vehicle "could be used for a variety of purposes in the city."
The 2011 Polaris Ranger needs some repair, but it will be just fine for the city's purposes. The machines retail for over $10,000 new.
"I don't think I would be driving it anymore, anyway," concluded Mr. Bate.