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Idaho Falls man killed, wife injured after car plunges into Snake River


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JACKSON HOLE, Wyoming — An Idaho Falls man died and his wife is recovering after a crash Friday afternoon in Snake River Canyon that resulted in their car plunging into the Snake River.

Authorities say Veldon Max Hix, 78, was pronounced dead on the scene and Arlene Hix, 76, was taken to St. John’s Medical Center for her injuries.

The wreck happened as the couple was driving north on Highway 89 around 1:30 p.m. near Hoback Junction.

“The driver (Mr. Hix) had a medical issue that caused him to hit the guardrail on the southbound shoulder. The vehicle then ricocheted across the highway, went north about 700 feet, hit another guardrail and rolled down an embankment into the river,” Wyoming Highway Trooper Mike Merritt told

The car was carried about 600 feet down the water and Arlene Hix, who had been sleeping but awoke during the commotion, began waving her arms out of the passenger window.

“Some fisherman heard people yelling. They looked and saw the lady waving her arms,” Merritt said. “They took their boat down and got her out of the car. They then dropped her off at the Astoria boat ramp where an ambulance was waiting.”

Teton County Search and Rescue recovered Veldon Hix’s body and a towing company removed the vehicle from the water around 5 p.m.

Arlene Hix was in stable condition Monday morning.