Mathew Sitko’s SUV stopped just short of a 30-foot vertical drop. (Barry Kough/Lewiston Tribune via AP)

So, above, you will find a picture taken Wednesday in Idaho. It shows a man pulling a driver from an SUV. The SUV is resting on a fence, which is at the edge of a cliff.

It looks like a pretty scary situation.

But it ended well enough. The hero in the hat was credited with the rescue, with authorities saying they think he yanked 23-year-old Mathew Sitko out of the GMC Yukon as it hung off the cliff, according to the Associated Press.

After the man pulled Sitko to safety, however, he left the scene.

“He said he had to go, and he left,” police officer Eric Olson told the Lewiston Tribune.

Okay, then!

[This is what it looks like when a rock the size of a house lands on a highway]

Police didn’t get to take down the man’s name, but his picture showed up in the Tribune. It gained a little attention, for obvious reasons. And so, on Thursday, the mystery man was identified as Jason Warnock, a 29-year-old from Lewiston.

Warnock told police that he noticed debris in the street while he was traveling on Bryden Canyon Road. He then spotted the SUV teetering on the cliff, according to a Lewiston Police Department news release.

Warnock told investigators that he then “ran up to the pedestrian foot bridge, climbed up above the cliff face then traversed the embankment to access the vehicle,” according the release, which, okay, I will admit, is a thing I just went ahead and quoted because it is an amazing string of heroic-sounding phrases packed in one line.

According to the AP:

Witnesses told police Sitko was allegedly driving fast and erratically, and almost struck a motorist as his Yukon sped south on Mayfair Drive, a residential street that makes a loop above and east of Bryden Canyon.

The dark-colored SUV gradually veered off the street’s right side and plowed through shrubbery in a yard before striking a cottonwood tree that catapulted over the edge of the canyon onto Bryden Canyon Road — a four-lane thoroughfare that connects Snake River Avenue with the Lewiston Orchards. Road crews were called by a passing motorist to remove the tree.

Police say Warnock pulled Sitko through a window. Sitko, 23, was taken to a hospital with minor injuries, and authorities suspect “some type of mental episode” might have been responsible for the incident.

So why did Warnock dash off without leaving his name?

“Warnock said he was working at the time and was not able to remain at the scene after officers arrived,” the police news release stated. “He said he was also trying to avoid attention.”


Sorry to Jason, who apparently never wanted this blog post fame! Our bad.

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