LUCKY doesn't even begin to describe what's going through 21-year-old Joe Rightmire's mind right now.  Rightmire ended up pinned underneath his pickup truck in a remote area after he crashed in Bonneville County, Idaho last August.  He would spend the next 48 hours pinned with sharp pieces of his truck pushing, jabbing, and poking into his head.

According to East Idaho News, it was Rightmire's sister that ended up finding him.  Without her, he would 100% not be with us right now.  She gathered a bunch of friends and started their own search party, finally finding the truck and alerting authorities.  The authorities didn't just respond quickly... they entered a very difficult situation that seemed impossible but would not give up until Rightmire was free.

Below is a picture of what the embankment where the accident occurred looked like.

Credit: Idaho Falls Fire Department
Credit: Idaho Falls Fire Department

The steep terrain was only one issue.  Idaho Falls Firefighter Jeff Hardy said...

He was asking for help but how he was positioned in the vehicle, it was very muffled and he only had just a corner of his mouth to speak with.

Underneath the truck, there was no support and the top of the truck was getting pressure from dirt and mud which meant any type of movement could end up with this vehicle crushing Rightmire.  That's when the backup was called in.  The Bonneville County Sheriff's Department showed up with lots of manpower, tools, and support.  Idaho Falls Battalion Chief Lance Johnson said this was the most complex rescue he's been a part of in 20 years.

Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputy Michael Vasquez said...

We’ve never trained for anything like that. Either us or the fire department.  I was calling for ropes, I was calling out for shovels, handyman jacks – everything that was inside my truck that we could use to try and free up the truck that was pinning him

Rescue crews worked well into the night finally freeing Rightmire after about two hours.  Nothing compared to the 48 hours Rightmire spent pinned there but that two hours seemed like an eternity.  Rightmire kept telling his heroes to not leave him.  He shouted out over and over...

Please don’t leave me, don’t let me go, don’t let me die here.

Rightmire ended up with a broken collarbone, serious bruising, a hurt ankle, and other injuries but all of them minor.  The Idaho Falls Fire Department and Bonneville County Sheriff Department have been honored by The American Red Cross for their efforts that day and we here at 104.3 WOW Country honor these men and women as well.  Thank you for your service!

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