A Cody couple died Friday when their ATV tumbled from the Morrison Jeep Trail in the Clarks Fork Canyon, according to the Park County Sheriff’s Office.
Allen Heald Phillips, 69, and his wife, Annette, 66, were ascending the trail at about 2 p.m. with friends when the crash occurred, a news release said.
The trail, which was closed until further notice after the incident, is a steep set of narrow switchbacks that climbs about 5,700 feet to the Beartooth Plateau, according to the sheriff’s office. There were no witnesses to the crash, but statements and evidence indicate that the two had tried to negotiate a hairpin turn but took the switchback too wide, the release said. They then attempted to find a better angle but accidentally backed over the edge and fell down four levels of the trail before the side-by-side came to rest on its top in the middle of the trail below.
The call reporting the crash came into the Park County 911 Communications Center at 2:47 p.m. Initial reports said that one person was dead, while another was critically injured. A Park County deputy was dispatched to the canyon along with members of the county’s search and rescue unit, Clark Fire, Clark First Responders and an ambulance from Powell Valley Hospital and a helicopter from REACH Air Medical Services, the release said.
The helicopter was able to land in the canyon about half a mile from the crash site. Medical personnel hiked up to the scene and pronounced both victims dead.
Both victims were recovered by members of the Park County Search and Rescue Unit with help from Clark Fire. That evening, they were taken out of the canyon and turned over to representatives of the Park County Coroner’s Office.