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Collision Knocks Van With Four Aboard Into River

Grand Teton National Park

National Park News

A Chevy Astro van carrying four people careened into the Gros Ventre River after getting sideswiped by a Jeep on Highway 26/89/191 near Gros Ventre Junction last Friday afternoon. The driver of the van, a Teton Science Schools employee, steered the van down a relatively steep embankment before it came to rest upright in the river. Her quick thinking and steady steering likely prevented the van from rolling. None of the occupants in the Chevy Astro or Jeep was injured during the collision or its aftermath. A Texas man and his wife were traveling southbound on the highway in their Jeep when they pulled to the west side of the road, intending to stop along the shoulder. The man decided to pull back onto the highway, but failed to see the approaching minivan, which was also southbound. As the Jeep reentered the lane of traffic, it struck the Astro. causing it to crash into a guardrail and careen down the roadside embankment before landing in the middle of the river.  Rangers, notified of the accident, responded from park headquarters at Moose, about seven miles away. Because the minivan’s gas tank ruptured and was leaking fuel into the Gros Ventre River, a Teton County hazmat team and battalion chief also responded to clean up the spill. Although no one in the van was injured, a can of bear spray discharged, affecting the passengers. The Texas driver received a citation for failure to maintain control of his vehicle, which brings a fine of $125.


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