The family involved in a terrifying crash right into the Snake River gave us their first-hand account.
On Monday night, we heard from the man who helped rescue them.
Rick Pingry said it was his son Calvin’s quick thinking and training he received as a boy scout that saved them, as they drove off the ledge into the Snake River.
It was a dark, rainy night when Rick Pingry and his two teenage sons left a friend’s house on 4200 East in Rigby.
Pingry said he turned right onto North Yellowstone Highway, which runs parallel to Highway 20.
Pingry and his son Calvin, who was driving, saw “Road Closed” signs in front of the underpass to the highway, and a sign marking a road to Rexburg and Ashton.
“It appeared that it was the new on-ramp. It’s got new pavement. We thought that this part was open and that it was just blocked going under the underpass,” said Pingry.
Amid all that construction, they sped up thinking they were taking the on-ramp for Highway 20. Suddenly, the river loomed before them.
Calvin hit the brakes, but didn’t have time to stop the car before hitting the water.
As soon as they hit, that’s when boy scout training kicked in for Calvin.
“He started winding the windows down as soon as we hit the water,” said Pingry.
All of the boys were able to crawl out, but Pingrey was too big to get out.
The car began to roll over in the water as it filled up. The boys finally pried the door open.
The scariest thought for me was that they would watch me die there in that cabin. It was just another miracle,” said Pingry.
That’s when rescuer Adam Christensen saw them as the lights kicked on in the car and he was able to dial 911 for help.
Unfortunately reporter Jessica Crandall was unable to catch up with Calvin on Tuesday, but his father said he and all of their family are in good health. He’s grateful for his son’s boy scout training.
Pingry said there were no signs marking the road drop-off to warn them of what was coming.
Mickey Eames with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said they did have them up at the time of the crash, and perhaps they were pushed off to the side.