LOGAN, Utah — “I remember the water coming up inside the cab,” Jed Al-Mari recalled.
On Thursday, he was driving back from Bear Lake, coming down Logan Canyon in his truck. His wife, Kathleen, was in the passenger seat. Behind them, his grandkids Ridge, 13, and Darby, 11, were buckled in.
The canyon had recently been paved and it was raining, bringing oil up to the surface.
“There’s nothing you can do. You can feel the whole truck going and there’s no way to stop it, and that’s when I said, 'We’re going in,'” Jed said.
The truck went off the road just below Logan Cave and flipped upside down into the Logan River.
“I thought about the kids, so I tried to find the kids and I couldn’t find the kids,” Jed recalled. “I was taking in water. I remember trying to push water out of my mouth and I couldn’t get rid of it.”
Jed was submerged and went unconscious.
Outside the truck, six men who saw the accident jumped into the water to start pulling the family out of the truck.
“This can’t be happening. This can’t be happening,” Kathleen said. She was the first pulled from the truck, frantically looking for her grandkids.
“I remember such relief when I turned and I saw Ridge," Kathleen said. "I saw his face and he was half out of the truck."
Kathleen and Ridge were passed from person to person back to the shore. Jed, unconscious, was pulled out next. A bystander starting performing CPR as he lied on the side of the road. But Darby was still trapped, keeping her head in a small air pocket.
“When I heard the voices, I yelled so they would know where I was,” Darby said.
Then she felt a hand reach down, help her undo her seatbelt, and pull her free.
“The first thing I thought was how happy I was to see another face,” she said.
The family all made it out of the car, back to safety.
“This is our whole world. You know, our family is our whole world,” Kathleen said.
“There’s a lot of things that are very important. Family, number one," Jed said. "There’s a lot of good people around. I think it doesn’t matter where you are, there’s a lot of good people."
All of them want to thank the men and women who stopped to pull them free, the first responders who helped and the caretakers at the hospital as well. Jed has broken ribs from receiving CPR. The others only have bumps and bruises.