The following is a press release from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office:
PALISADES – On August 9th, 2020, at approximately 12:00pm, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Deputies, and First Responders from the Idaho State Police, Forest Service Law Enforcement, Idaho Falls Fire, Swan Valley Fire, and Air Idaho Rescue responded to a report of a vehicle that had driven off a cliff on the Bear Creek Rd. in the Palisades area past the Calamity campground. Arriving Deputies discovered that a Ford Ranger pickup, driven by 19 year old Nicholas A. Larson of Idaho Falls, had failed to negotiate a curve and went off the gravel road and down a steep embankment. The vehicle over turned and ejected Mr. Larson who was not wearing a seatbelt, and upon being discovered he was found to be deceased from injuries sustained in the crash.
Deputies spoke to family members of Larson who advised they were all traveling together in several vehicles with Larson being the rear vehicle. When they arrived at their destination they noticed Larson hadn’t made it and went back to try and locate him. Family located Larson and the spot he went off the road, believed to be approximately 30 minutes earlier, and called 911 for help. Some initial information was reported by individuals passing by about a vehicle and trailer driving recklessly in the area and Deputies were able to confirm that to be family of Larson responding back to the scene of the crash upon hearing news of his passing. At this time Deputies believe there were no witnesses to the crash and there is no evidence to explain why the vehicle went off the road other than potentially speed and/or inattention.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office reminds everyone who is recreating in our back country areas to drive slow and make paying attention to your driving a priority at all times. Our back country areas are very busy and most gravel roads are narrow with blind corners. Anticipate the possibility of oncoming traffic and watch for areas with loose or very little shoulder area that could affect your ability to control a vehicle. Always wear your seatbelts and the appropriate helmet and safety gear and never operate a vehicle, ATV, or Motorcycle under the influence of alcohol or drugs.