Sunday, March 15, 2009

Ill-fated rest stop retrieval
Crews pull man from Filer rest area toilet after he tried to retrieve his keys

(photo not related but too good to pass up)

You could call it a new version of "the road less traveled."

Filer emergency crews retrieved an unidentified Ada County man from a rest area toilet Thursday afternoon, after he climbed into a waste tank and became stuck.

The man was found just before noon by another driver that stopped at the U.S. Highway 30 rest area west of town, according to Filer Police Chief Cliff Johnson. Filer police responded to a 911 call, along with the Filer Fire Department, Filer Quick Response and a paramedic from St. Luke's Magic Valley Medical Center.

Johnson said the man, who asked police not to be identified, was unable to find his car keys after using the lavatory. Thinking his keys had fallen in the tank, the man removed a round plastic cover at the base of the toilet and climbed in to find them. Once inside he was unable to pull himself out, and waited until someone else arrived.

"He hadn't been there too long, only 10 or 15 minutes," Johnson said.

At least 10 emergency response personnel responded to the 911 call, according to Johnson and a dispatch supervisor at Southern Idaho Regional Communication Center.

Eventually the man was retrieved through an access hole used to pump the waste out of the tank.

"It took some lifting to get him out, and he had cut himself pretty good trying to get himself out," Johnson said.

The man was allowed to wash off with the fire truck hose at the scene, where he made another painful discovery.

"That's when he discovered the keys were still in his back pocket," Johnson said.

Both the SIRCOMM supervisor and Johnson said crews didn't ask the man for his name, which wasn't required since no charges or citation were issued.

"He didn't want to give it to us, and that was fine with us," said Taylor Hunsaker, a dispatch supervisor at SIRCOMM. "We didn't want to embarrass him any more than that."

"It was recommended that he seek some medical treatment and get himself cleaned up," Johnson said.


"If you ever accidentally drop your keys into a river of molten lava, let 'em go, because man, they're gone."

Jack Handy

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