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Fatal Accident Near Yellowstone’s North Entrance

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Date: September 7, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

Car wrecked in accident turned upright by the bank of the river.
Rescue personnel had to turn the vehicle upright to remove the driver from the wreckage Wednesday night.
NPS Photo
One person is dead and another hospitalized after an accident late Wednesday night in Yellowstone National Park.The accident happened shortly before midnight on the road between Mammoth Hot Springs and the park’s North Entrance.

The red Chevrolet Avalanche was traveling north through the Gardner River Canyon when the driver lost control.  The vehicle skidded for over 160 feet, struck a guardrail, vaulted 45 feet down the embankment, and came to rest upside down along the riverbank.

National Park Service (NPS) Fire, EMS, and rescue personnel had to turn the vehicle upright and carry out a technical rope rescue to remove the male driver from the wreckage.  The 27 year old Michigan resident was flown by an Air Idaho Rescue helicopter to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls where he remains hospitalized. Over 25 NPS employees and members of the Park County, Montana Sheriff's Department were involved in the incident.

The passenger, a 27 year old woman from Michigan, was dead at the scene. An autopsy is scheduled for later today in Bozeman, Montana.

Identities of the accident victims are being withheld pending notification of next of kin. While the accident remains under investigation, alcohol consumption was involved.  NPS Special Agents are in the process of seeking a Federal arrest warrant for the driver.   NPS rangers and  agents are leading the investigation with assistance from the Montana Highway Patrol, the Park County, Montana, Coroner, and the Park County, Montana, Sheriff's Department.

Rangers will temporarily close the road between Gardiner and Mammoth Hot Springs for a few hours this afternoon to remove the wreckage. 

This is the third fatal accident in Yellowstone National Park this year and the third DUI related motor vehicle accident in Yellowstone in the last week.

-www.nps.gov/yell -

Did You Know?

Summer Crowd at Old Faithful.

At peak summer levels, 3,500 employees work for Yellowstone National Park concessioners and about 800 work for the National Park Service.