Idaho man survives after being hit by vehicle and falling 50 feet into the Snake River

Posted at 1:08 PM, Nov 21, 2016
and last updated 2016-11-21 23:39:13-05

A Mesa, Idaho man is recuperating in a hospital after being accidentally thrown into the frigid waters of the Snake River Monday morning.

About 6 a.m. Monday, Oregon State Police troopers and emergency personnel responded to the report of a multiple vehicle crash on Interstate 84 near milepost 378, on the Snake River Bridge between Oregon and Idaho.

“A 2008 Chevrolet Colorado was traveling westbound on I-84 when it lost control on the bridge, after hitting black ice,” said OSP spokesman Capt. Bill Fugate. “The Chevrolet impacted the bridge and came to rest on the shoulder. The driver of the Chevrolet, Steven S. Bailey, 41, of Middleton, was not injured.”

“A passing motorist, Steven Arrasmith, 34, of Mesa, Idaho, stopped his 2016 Jeep behind Bailey's vehicle to offer assistance,” Fugate went on. “Another westbound vehicle, a 2008 Hyundai, lost control on the ice and struck the back of the Jeep, causing it to lurch forward. Arrasmith, who was now standing on the bridge, was struck by his Jeep and thrown over the bridge railing. He managed to hang on for a short period, despite having a serious injury, before falling about fifty feet into the Snake River below.”

In the darkness, Arrasmith managed to shed heavier clothing and swam to a nearby island. “First responders could hear him yelling for help soon after rescued him,” Fugate said. Arrasmith was taken to Saint Alphonsus Medical Center in Ontario for treatment of non-life threatening injuries.

The driver of the Hyundai, Jim D. Hudnall, 68, of Walla Walla, Washington, received minor injuries.

OSP was helped by the Ontario Police Department, the Payette County Sheriff's Office, Ontario Fire and Rescue, Payette Fire and Rescue, and the Oregon Department of Transportation.