Emergency response crews work to extricate Cheyenne Hettinger, 21 of Orofino, who was trapped in a U-Haul truck Sunday morning, Feb. 18, after rolling off U.S. Highway 95.
As of Tuesday, February 21, 2017
RIGGINS UPDATE: As of Tuesday afternoon, Josh Schlaich with St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center confirmed Cheyenne Hettinger was listed in critical condition at that facility.
An Orofino man was flown to a Boise hospital following a one-vehicle accident just south of Lucille Sunday morning, Feb. 19. The responding state trooper said a stroke of luck may have saved the driver, given the vehicle missed being submerged in the Salmon River.
Cheyenne Hettinger, 21, was travelling northbound on U.S. Highway 95 when it appears he fell asleep, said Idaho State Police (ISP) Trooper Samuel Rodriguez. Hettinger had been driving a U-Haul truck pulling a trailer from Winnemucca, Nev., a distance of 394 miles without stopping.
Witnesses stated the vehicle crossed the southbound lane and went off the embankment rolling the vehicle. When the vehicle came to rest, the cab was completely smashed, Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez also said Hettinger was alert and responsive when he arrived on scene. An extrication crew from Riggins was dispatched and worked for one and a half hours before being able to free Hettinger from his vehicle.
LifeFlight had been dispatched, according to Rodriguez, however, it was cancelled because of high winds and fog. Hettinger was transported by McCall ambulance to St. Luke’s Hospital. From there, Rodriguez believed Hettinger was flown to St. Alphonsus Regional Medical Center in Boise.
Calls to that facility had not been returned as of press time.
The incident occurred at milepost 203.5, Rodriguez said. He also said Hettinger was lucky the accident occurred where it did as there was ample shoreline. At other locations in that area the Salmon River cuts close to the roadway and the driver may have been submerged.
While there were no passengers in Hettinger’s vehicle, he was following his cousin who was also driving a U-Haul trailer. The pair were someone move from Reno, Nev., to the Deary, Idaho, area.
Hettinger was wearing his seat belt at the time of the accident.
Rodriguez is awaiting an injury report from the hospital before a full report is released. Initial reports from St. Luke’s indicate Hettinger suffered broken ribs, bruised lungs, possible broken legs and facial trauma.
ISP also responded to an accident at the intersection of U.S. Highway 95 and Cottonwood Butte Road just outside of Cottonwood Friday night. A report on this incident has not yet been filed with ISP.