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Idaho Falls

Would you help a driver who has slid off the highway?

Vehicle stuck in snow
Vehicle stuck in snow

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - East Idaho is filled with kind-hearted people willing to help others.

"I would definitely stop. Especially if I had my husband or someone else with me," neighbor Melissa Wangsgard said.

"As long as you pull all the way over," neighbor Kaycee Harvey said.

"Depends on the circumstances. If it's daylight I probably would," neighbor Bill Dent said.

But in the world we live in, the help can come with hesitation.

"I'd be more likely to stop if I had someone else with me," Wangsgard said.

"If I didn't have my kids, I probably would, but I would look around my surroundings. You could tell when something's fishy," Harvey said.

Neighbors like Bill Dent feel like the safety of your stop can also depend on your gender.

"There's a lot of people out there that I think take advantage of other people, and I think females definitely, it's probably not as safe for them as a man to stop," Dent said.

Idaho State Police Sargent Chris Elverud said, although negative interactions are rare while trying to help someone, you can never be too safe.

"I would recommend just calling the state police to say 'hey there's a vehicle there,' maybe from afar see, don't go approach them right away but, you know, maybe you just give me a thumbs up to some type of nonverbal communication there okay," Elverud said.

If you ever encounter a situation where you've slid off the road, Elverud recommends some tips to stay safe.

"The main thing is to turn your flashers on. Let law enforcement know where you're at, but just stay in your vehicle. You never know what's coming up behind you, so your main thing is your safety, make sure you're out of the way," Elverud said.

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Jilliana Colin

Jilliana Colina

Jilliana is a reporter for Local News 8 and KIDK Eyewitness News 3.



  1. “You could tell when something’s fishy,”
    Well, Kaycee, I would be willing to bet I am–at LEAST ten times more–skeptical/situation-aware than you or anybody you know. Despite that….in the late 90’s I had the ‘boyfriend’ of a young lady who– I THOUGHT–had car trouble come out of a convenient nearby apartment (on Benton Ave., in Idaho Falls). A right hand thrust pointedly and quickly into my pants pocket made it (the ‘boyfriend’) exit almost as quickly as it had appeared. The SECOND time was in Burley, Idaho–similar situation, roughly five years later, cost me $80.00 (The contents of my money clip) when THREE ‘boyfriends’ strong-armed me out of it. For all you arm-chair tough guys, the ONLY way one man ‘defeats’ three adversaries involves the use of deadly force, and if you open THAT can of legal worms over $80….well, you’re a lot more concerned with eighty bucks than I am. 😉
    So….sorry, folks, but I learned from THOSE two experience to call whatever the jurisdictional police department’s non-emergency number and drive right on by. Pretty sure there’s at least ONE ‘good guy’–and, hopefully the minors involved in the car-jacking/kidnapping in Pocatello recently.
    It’s been a LONG time, Dorothy, since we’ve been anything NEAR Kansas! 😉

  2. Depends on the situation. I would be more comfortable helping a male than a female in this day-and-age. Not worried about a carjacking, cause if they try there is a good chance they will have a very sorry chest after the H&K or Beretta is discharged. However, woman I find are more cunning.
    Years ago, I stopped to help two young girls on an interstate in MI, I would NOT let them into the car, I did hand them my cell phone to call their brother to come help, and they sat in their car, I sat in mine till bro arrived. I just do not generally trust people.

  3. Call the local police and tell them about the need for assistance.
    Tell people to stay with their vehicle and do not allow them to ride with you.
    Keep yourself and your family safe. Priority one.
    Too many scumbags infiltrating our formerly “nice” area.

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