Highway 44 rock slide hits Rapid City fire truck

RAPID CITY, S.D. – It was a close call for a wildfire crew when their truck was caught in a rock slide.

Rapid City Municipal Government crews responded to a rock slide near Cleghorn Canyon Fish Hatchery on Highway 44 around 1 p.m. Friday.

A Rapid City Fire Department Veteran Wildfire Mitigation crew was returning from a land management project when they found large rocks in the road.

When they parked to remove the rocks, a second, larger rock slide occurred. Multiple boulders struck the truck’s passenger side window and doors. Large rocks also landed in the lanes of traffic.

No one was injured, but the truck and an attached wood chipper suffered heavy damage.

Debris removal crews brought in loaders to remove the larger stones from the curb while hand crews and a street sweeper brushed away the smaller pebbles from the road.

Heavy rains over the summer months eroded the soil, causing the rock slide.

Lt. Jim Bussell, RCFD public information officer, urged drivers to use caution when traveling through areas where falling rocks are common.

“This is the second rockslide that’s occurred in this exact area in about a month. The last one was around the 19th or so of August,” Bussell said. “Good situational awareness is important. That’s really all the can say about it. I mean, it’s just one of those freak deals that kind of happened.”

Westbound traffic on Highway 44 was shifted to the center lane while responders worked to remove the rocks.

Categories: Local News, South Dakota News, Traffic & Accidents