‘Cowboy’ sheriff uses lasso to rescue driver after car plunges into Utah river

Posted at 8:54 AM, May 16, 2019

PIUTE COUNTY, Utah — A sheriff used his roping skills to help save a man from a river Saturday morning.

"This is not something that you see every day," Piute County Sheriff Marty Gleave told KSTU. "You never really know how much stuff goes on here."

Late Friday night, a man swerved to avoid hitting an elk but overcorrected, sending his car into the Sevier River. He was able to climb out and onto the top of the vehicle, where he remained until Saturday morning when a witness called to report the stranded man.

The bystanders had a strap around the man when Gleave arrived.

"I had a lariat in my car," Gleave said, "and we just put it around him and basically just stabilized him while rope rescue people were coming."

But rather than wait, Gleave and the group of "good Samaritans," as he called them, decided to try and pull the man from the car to the riverbank.

It worked — the man was lassoed off the car and rushed to the hospital, where he was released today in good condition.

Darin Bushman shared the unique story in a Facebook post, calling Gleave a "stud Cowboy Sheriff."

Gleave has been the sheriff for 24 years, and while he usually sports his cowboy boots and hat, this was the first time he rescued someone with his rope.

"I don't know why I'd be getting all the credit, honestly," Gleave said. "There was a lot of people, good people, Samaritans ... here helping."

Crews were later able to pull out the car, but it was completely totaled. They were grateful the man was a little cold, but safe.