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Culvert Car Flip - Miraculous Escape Photos

Summary:
Photos depict a vehicle that has apparently hit a bridge guardrail and then flipped completely over a very deep culvert to land in relative safety on the other side (Full commentary below).



Status:
True

Example:(Submitted, January 2007)
Man hits guard rail and flips end over end over that culvert. Do you think he had an angel on his shoulder? Check out the third picture!!

Culvert Flip 1

Culvert Flip 3

Culvert Flip 2
Click images for larger view




Commentary:
These photographs have been posted to various online forums and also circulate via email. The photographs are shots taken after an accident in which a small truck hit a bridge guardrail, flipped, and finally came to rest on the opposite side of the culvert. What makes this accident remarkable is that the vehicle seemingly flew right over a deep canyon and landed very near the canyon's edge.

The photographs are authentic. According to an article on Snopes.com, the accident happened on Highway 59 near Hurricane City in the American state of Utah. Hurricane City Police confirmed to Snopes.com that such an accident occurred but would not provide specific details because of privacy considerations.

With only the photographs to guide us, we can only speculate on exactly how the accident happened. An examination of the photographs suggests that the vehicle may well have gone through the guardrail and somehow hurtled airborne across the substantial gap to land on the opposite bank. However, the vehicle may also have slid across the top of the culvert parallel to the guardrail before flipping over to land near the canyon bank. A bent guardrail post above the truck's final position offers some support for this alternative scenario.

Moreover, photographs can sometimes be quite deceptive, depending on the angle they are taken from. There may actually be more room between the guardrail and the edge of the culvert than is apparent in the photos. Also, the truck, and the people surrounding it, may not be quite as close to the edge as they appear.

The photographs have generated a lot of discussion, with many people commenting how "lucky" the driver was to escape the probably fatal fall into the canyon. However, the fact that the vehicle did not go over the side does not mean that the driver was not injured. The photographs show an ambulance and a rescue vehicle are present at the accident, so the driver may well have been seriously injured. Given the number of people working around the crashed truck, the driver may have been still inside, and possibly trapped, when the photographs were taken.

References:
Urban Legends Reference Pages: Livin' on the Edge

Last updated: 3rd July 2007
First published: 24th January 2007

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen