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Truck plunges off Hwy. 6, three rescued from swollen Price River

A truck plunged off of US Highway 6 into the Price River near Blue Cut on early Friday morning.

Sun Advocate reporter

An early morning swift water search led to the rescue of three Layton residents as several Carbon County fire and rescue agencies converged on a pickup truck that had left the road and plunged down a cliff-side into the swollen Price River.

After reportedly falling asleep at the wheel while traveling eastbound on U.S. Highway 6, John Dunkley, 65, apparently rolled his pickup 35 feet down the canyon and into the roaring river near Consumer's Junction. Dunkley who was traveling with his 62-year-old wife Kathleen and their 7-year-old grandson was towing a trailer loaded with ATVs and rafts when he crossed over the westbound lane, through a guard fence and down the steep bank into the river. The child's name was not released.

After receiving the initial page at 12:05 a.m., Carbon County Public Safety officials including Helper's Rescue 3, Price Fire, the Price Police and the Carbon County Search and Rescue's Swift Water Team deployed nets below the Carbon Country Club Golf Course before attempting a person to person rescue in the teaming Price River.

"We needed those nets for safety, in case something happened and we lost a rescuer or a victim," said Helper Fire Capt. Gary Harwood. "After they were deployed, we put in one swimmer at a time, tied off and with a rope and harness for each victim. The operation went pretty slick from that point on and we were able to help out all three victims."

According to both Harwood and Helper Fire's Brandon Wise, who was the first swimmer in, the river was moving at an incredible pace, roaring with a torrential flow of icy spring run-off.

After each victim was removed from the river, they were transported to Castleview Hospital for hypothermia assessment and treatment of minor injuries.

Pick up Tuesday's Sun Advocate for a full description of the rescue effort from Helper's Wise as well as Utah Highway Patrol and Price Public Safety officials.

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