Man in hospital after driving UTV into mineshaft

Posted at 1:28 PM, May 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-07 15:30:28-04

CEDAR VALLEY, Utah — A man is in the hospital after driving his UTV into a mine shaft early Sunday morning.

Officials said the 27-year-old man was driving the Utility Task Vehicle in the area of Five Mile Pass when he fell into a mine shaft around 2 a.m. That is when his family camping in the area noticed he was missing.

They searched for three hours and found him around 5 a.m. They called 911 immediately.

Their call was routed to Utah County dispatchers, who sent rescue crews to the scene. They were joined by Tooele County rescue teams to save the man.

Lieutenant Ron Johnson with Tooele County Sheriff's Office Investigations said more man-power helped get the job done.

"I'm very happy that these teams are out here, actually," he said. "They all, of course, worked well together. They all have great experience and rely on each other."

Johnson said it is hard to estimate how many mine shafts are in the Sunshine Canyon area, where they were stationed. He said he knows there are many and not all of them are clearly marked.

He said the Department of Natural Resources is working on sealing all of them.

Crews packed up around noon Sunday. The man was flown to the hospital with non life-threatening injuries.