Authorities ID canal accident victims
A rural Scotts Bluff county man died, and a WNCC student was injured after a car went off the road, and ended submerged in the Pathfinder Irrigation canal north of Scottsbluff.
Authorities say 20-year-old Taylor Gulley died as a result of the accident, which occurred at 2:04 p.m. Monday afternoon about eight-and-a-half miles north of Scottsbluff on Sugar Factory Road. 19-year-old Matthew A. Merryfield was able to escape the vehicle.
Merryfield told authorities he was driving the vehicle northbound when he lost control of the vehicle, which went off the west side of the bridge and overturned. It came to rest upside down and submerged in the canal under the bridge. Merryfield said he and Gulley were both wearing seatbelts, and he was able to escape through the sunroof.
Merryfield was airlifted to Regional West with non-life-threatening injuries. Authorities confirmed Mayfield is a student at WNCC, but his home address was not available.
The Scottsbluff Fire Department dive team reported that the water in the canal was approximately five feet deep with a temperature of 42 degrees. An autopsy has been ordered, and the accident remains under investigation.
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