Southern Utah News Articles
Flood rescue on the Paria River
On the evening of September 27, 2014, Kane County Deputy Rob Johnson was dispatched to an accident south of Cannonville. He was informed the accident was caused by floods causing a bridge to give way.
When Johnson arrived, several rescue workers and law enforcement officers from Garfield County were on the scene. They relayed to Johnson that a couple from Italy, Suzanna Dursi and Roberto Bellotti, had been traveling from west to east when the road gave way on the east end of the bridge. The water from heavy rain that day had washed all of the base under the road away. Their car plummeted approximately 20 feet into the flooding river and ended up upside down in the river. Dursi and Bellotti were able to swim out of the back window and climb onto the portion of the car that was above water, as the car was pushed about 150 yards downstream.
Deputy Pierson of Garfield County had been contacted by a family member notifying him of the road damage. Pierson went to the scene to observe the damage to the road and heard Dursi and Bellotti yelling for help from downstream.
The Garfield County rescue teams were then gathered and a plan was devised to use a rubber raft, controlled by ropes from each side of the river and a rope from atop of the bridge to be guided downstream to the stranded couple, where they were given lifejackets and assisted into the boat to be pulled to safety.
Dursi and Bellotti were shivering and emotionally distraught as they were escorted from the riverbank into an ambulance. The ambulance transported them to Garfield County Hospital, where they were treated for hypothermia.