Accident Database

Report ID# 3737

  • Pinned in Boat against Rock or Sieve
  • Physical Trauma
  • One Boat Trip

Accident Description

Woman rescued after being pinned against Jefferson River bridge for hours

June 25, 2013

By Eddie Gregg, Billings Gazette

Rescuers in Madison County on Tuesday evening saved a woman who was pinned for nearly four and a half hours against the pillar of a bridge on the Jefferson River. The victim, Kelly Keller, of Whitehall, was reportedly in good condition after being pulled from the water around 6 p.m. She was taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital by Air Summit Ambulance, according to a Madison County Sheriff's Office news release.

Keller and two others from Whitehall were canoeing on the Jefferson River on Tuesday, according to the news release. As they approached the Iron Rod Bridge, which is about 10 miles north of Twin Bridges, the canoe wrapped around one of the bridge pillars, pinning Keller by the leg. The other two people in the canoe escaped and helped get Keller into a position where she could breathe, according to the news release. First responders were called to the scene around 1:45 p.m., according to the Madison County Sheriff’s Office. The river was about six feet deep and fairly swift, said Dave Schenk, Madison County sheriff.

During the rescue, a wrecker was on the scene, allowing a cable to be lowered to the woman, Schenk said. Rescuers were able to lower hot water to the woman to help stave off hypothermia, he said. “We’re just so happy we threw everything at it because we knew it could be serious,” he said. The Madison County Sheriff’s Office, Madison County Search and Rescue, Madison County 911 Center, Twin Bridges Quick Response Unit, the Twin Bridges Fire Department, Ruby Valley Ambulance, Beaverhead County Swift Water Rescue Team, Summit Air Ambulance, the Gallatin County Dive/Rescue Team, the U.S. Forest Service and Montana Fish, Wildlife and Parks Department were all involved in the rescue efforts, according to the news release.

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