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Park visitors James Bachman and Dorothy Hovland, from Huntington Beach, CA, returned to Yosemite today to present a plaque to Park Ranger Dan Abbe to show their appreciation for his heroic efforts. Abbe rescued the pair after their truck and trailer slid off of Highway 41 and down a steep hillside. The plaque was presented during a ceremony in Yosemite Valley.
While exiting Yosemite Valley and heading to home to southern California on May 26, Bachman’s truck slid over the side of Highway 41 when he pulled into a dirt pullout. After tumbling approximately 40 feet down the hillside, Bachman’s truck came to a rest on its side. Other visitors witnessing the accident flagged Ranger Abbe to the scene. When Abbe arrived at the vehicle, the engine compartment was on fire. Bachman and Hovland were unable to open the door to their vehicle to escape. Abbe climbed on the truck and was able to pry the door open allowing Bachman and Hovland to escape the vehicle. They climbed up to the roadside as the truck and trailer were completely engulfed in flames. All three suffered smoke inhalation, but no serious injuries.
“If it wasn’t for Dan, we wouldn’t have been able to get out of the vehicle. The engine started on fire while we were still inside. Once Dan got us out, the fire got bigger. He is a very special person and we are alive because of him,” said Bachman upon presenting the plaque to Abbe.
“We are so appreciative of the effort James and Dorothy have taken to recognize one of our Park Rangers. This level of gratitude is rarely expressed by visitors and we are so thankful to have a Ranger like Dan Abbe on our staff,” said Acting Deputy Superintendent Jim Hammet, during the event.