Teens plunge 60 feet trying to save family dangling off icy Montana bridge in pileup

Don Sweeney
·2 min read

When two teenagers saw a red Toyota with children inside dangling off an icy Montana bridge in a 30-vehicle pileup Saturday, they didn’t hesitate.

“Celea and Gahge looked back and said, ‘There’s babies and that car is going to go over the bridge,’ and they jumped out,” grandmother Joan Whiteman Runshim told KRTV.

As Celea Poitra, 19, and Gahge Whiteman Runshim, 17, tried to make their way through the wreckage on the Interstate 90 bridge over the Yellowstone River near Billings, more vehicles kept slamming into the pile of crashed vehicles, according to the station.

Trapped in the crashed Toyota with her kids, ages 2 and 4, Kylee Ainsworth yelled at one of the teens to go back because it wasn’t safe, the Billings Gazette reported.

Then they were gone.

“I went back towards the pile-up and I kept calling Gahge, calling Celea,” Runshim told KRTV. “I could hear Gahge hollering. I was so afraid they were under one of the cars or something.”

Celea and Gahge had been knocked off the bridge by the ongoing collisions while trying to reach the Toyota, the Billings Gazette reported.

The teens plunged to the ground below, suffering serious injuries, NBC Montana reported.

Gahge suffered a broken leg, fractured pelvis, fractured neck, punctured lung and dislocated shoulder in the 60-foot-fall, KRTV reported. Celea, who had been crawling across the hood of a wrecked car, is in intensive care with a broken back, broken pelvic bone, broken ankle and a lacerated kidney.

Another motorist eventually helped Ainsworth and her children from their car, KULR reported.

Family member Eva Whiteman said she’s not surprised the two teens immediately jumped out tohelp Ainsworth and her kids, the Billings Gazette reported.

“They would give the shirt off their back,” she said. “They’re always sweet, kind kids.”

The Montana Highway Patrol cited icy conditions as the cause of the 30-care pileup in a post to Twitter. There were no deaths..