5-year-old saves grandma's life after car plunges off 400-foot drop off in Idaho


    5-year-old Rushawn saved his grandmother's life after their car careened off a 400-foot cliff in Idaho. (Photo: Stephen Pimpo, Jr., KLEW)

    Karen Covey-Seldon says the fear of getting behind the wheel still lingers after a nightmare car accident in November sent both her and her 5-year-old grandson Rushawn careening down a nearly 400-foot drop off in Lapwai.

    "It was so bumpy," Rushawn recalls.

    You can see photos of the accident in our gallery above.

    Karen and Rushawn were on their way to Lewiston one morning when, suddenly, a dog appeared in the middle of the road. On instinct, Karen swerved to avoid it, only to realize they were about to plunge down the embankment at the top of Soldiers Canyon.

    "I knew if it rolled, we probably would've both died,” she says.

    So instead...Karen drove straight down, sending Rushawn and herself hurtling over the edge.

    "I didn't want him to get hurt,” she said through tears, “I was worried about him more than anything.”

    Their SUV plowed through four trees before landing in a creek bed at the bottom of the canyon. Many of the windows were completely shatteredbut not Rushawn's.

    Miraculously, he was unhurt while Karen was left with cuts and bruises.

    "We definitely had an angel looking out for us, no doubt about it,” she says.

    They got free of the wreckage but the danger was not over.

    "They would've never found us, we were so far down in that canyon,” Karen said, reliving emotions from that day.

    Karen knew they had only one choice...climb. They were almost at the top when she felt the mud and gravel starting to give way.

    "There was nothing to hang on to at all,” Karen says.

    She found herself trapped on the steep hillside.

    Rushawn was afraid his grandma would fall back down the hill, but he summoned the courage to climb the rest of the way up by himself and flag down a passing farmer.

    "I don't know if I would've made it out of there had he not been with me,” says Karen.

    Rushawn has already faced plenty of tragedy in his life. His mother passed away about two years ago and Karen has full custody. She says she is just grateful Rushawn escaped the ordeal unscathed, both physically and emotionally.

    "He tells everybody that he's my hero,” Karen says.


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