Multiple wrecks kept rangers busy in Yellowstone National Park this Wednesday.
Rangers first responded to a wreck on Firehole Lake Drive, where a motorcyclist struck the rear end of a parked vehicle.
The motorcyclist was transported by a National Park Service ambulance to the Yellowstone Airport, north of West Yellowstone and then life-flighted to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls, Idaho, according to incident commander Jesse Pike.
A two-vehicle wreck occurred on Madison Hill, approximately one mile south of Madison Junction later that afternoon.
Yellowstone National Park rangers responded to the scene of the wreck on Madison Hill directly following the first wreck, which happened less than 10 miles up the road.
The second wreck involved a Chevrolet Suburban and a minivan. The people traveling in the Suburban said that their vehicle had rolled over, but that had not been confirmed by park rangers that night. A call for assistance for the Hebgen Basin Fire District to respond to the scene came in at 4 p.m.
“There were two injuries and investigations are pending,” Pike said.
Two patients with minor injuries were transported by ambulance to Madison Memorial Hospital in Rexburg, Idaho by the National Park Service and HBFD. One person suffered a possible broken ankle.
Yellowstone ranger Anthony Kearney served as the incident commander on the second wreck.
“I understand that there were three significant wrecks in the park on Wednesday and two of them were reported as rollovers,” Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said. “At this time of year we have some traffic congestion, even in places where we don’t have wildlife jams, just due to the amount of vehicles. We have people who try to sightsee while driving and we have people who forget how big this place is and they try to make time and they speed.”
A series of small heavy thunderstorms also rolled through southern Montana just north of the park boundary late Wednesday afternoon. Nash said the heavy rainfall caused some rock and mud to slide and cover a section of U.S. Highway 89 in Corwin Springs, which is about eight miles north of the park boundary past Gardiner.
The road was closed at around 4:30 p.m. and according to Montana Department of Transportation, it reopened just before midnight.
“They concentrated on cleanup and had to clear the road,” Nash said.