Search underway for missing hunters at crash site in Idaho backcountry

Posted at 9:23 AM, May 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-24 11:23:20-04

(MISSOULA) Efforts are underway to recover an overturned SUV in the remote backcountry of Central Idaho, with family and friends hoping they’ll be able to resolve what happened to four missing hunters.

A video released by Two Bear Air Rescue of Whitefish shows the overturned SUV in the middle of the Selway River near the Paradise Campground, which is about 50-miles west of Darby on the remote Magruder Corridor.

The Idaho County Sheriff says the truck ran off the road Monday while the group was bear hunting.

Two men made it to shore, but the fate of the others is not known.

Searchers from several agencies have been looking for the men.

The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office checked out the scene initially, but tell us the case is now being handled by Idaho County deputies, who had to travel more than six hours from Grangeville to reach the scene because the Corridor is closed now due to snow east of Elk City.

Family and friends of the men pulled together to raise more than $31,000 to rent equipment to go back to the area and try to pull the SUV out of the river so it can be searched. At last word, that effort was underway late Wednesday afternoon.

Authorities haven’t released the identity of the men.

(MAY 23, 2018) The Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office is currently assisting in the search for four hunters that are missing in Idaho County, Idaho.

The four hunters went missing after their SUV rolled over into the Selway River on Monday. Two other hunters that were also in the vehicle at the time of the accident were able to make it safely to shore. The cause of the accident is still unknown.

Idaho County Sheriff Doug Giddings says they have had a difficult time getting to the vehicle which has hurt their ability to locate the hunters.

"We haven’t determined yet what caused the accident but the vehicle ended up in the river," Giddings said. "At this point, that’s where we are. We cant get to it right now. We are looking at different options, different possibilities at this moment. No, we don’t have somebody out there trying to hook on to it."

The four men were from Georgia and New York and were hunting for bear in the area.

Two Bear Air and a LifeFlight helicopter were requested to assist in the search. Two Bear Air was able to locate and move the two known occupants to a nearby outfitter camp. 

Ravalli County Sheriff’s deputies and Ravalli County Search and Rescue responded to the area to assist with the air operations.

Two Bear Air flew the river looking for remaining individuals but found none. Ravalli County Steve Holton says that due to high-water and fast moving conditions it is not safe to remove the vehicle to check for the other occupants.  

Clearwater County Back Country Helicopter and Idaho County Sheriff’s Office personnel and Search and Rescue are responding to the area and will continue looking for the occupants and search for ways to safely remove the vehicle from the river.

The names of the four missing people have not been released pending notification of their families.

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