Friday, August 15, 2014

Vehicle accident en route to IDFG Salmon Camp

Idaho Fish and Game volunteer instructor Tim Cochnauer and two students, a 14-year-old boy and a 15-year-old boy, both of Lewiston, were injured after the 2010 Toyota Tundra they were riding in left the roadway on Highway 14 the afternoon of Aug. 12, along the South Fork Clearwater River. 
“Tim and his crew were part of the larger class of students who had travelled ahead. Tim was busy answering questions and pointing out all of the wonderful features of the South Fork when he veered too far to the left,” said IDFG in a statement about the crash.

The pickup traveled approximately 15 feet up a steep embankment until it struck a rocky outcropping, causing the vehicle to roll, coming to rest on its passenger side.

“His (Tim’s) quick thinking to take on the rocky bank on the left versus over-correcting may very well have kept the truck out of the river,” said IDFG in their statement. “Both of Tim’s young passengers were heroes, themselves as they helped Tim out of the truck.”

All occupants were wearing seatbelts at the time of the accident.

Both teenage boys and Cochnauer were taken to Syringa Hospital in Grangeville. The teenage boys were released with minor injuries.

Cochnauer suffered more significant injuries, including a fracture of his hand and a compression fracture of a vertebrae, but was also released from the hospital Tuesday evening.

Cochnauer, a retired Fish and Game Clearwater Regional Fish Manager, was a volunteer instructor for Fish and Game’s Clearwater Youth Salmon Camp. He was traveling to the department’s Red River Wildlife Management Area near Elk City.

An overnight session was scheduled on Tuesday night at Fish and Game’s Ponderosa Ranch facility located on Red River.

Contact the Idaho Fish and Game regional office at (208) 799-5010 for more information.

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