Cut Bank Family has a Harrowing Trip to NHSFR
The Guardipee family of Cut Bank packed up the truck and headed for Gillette, Wyoming, so Caleb could compete in the National High School Finals Rodeo. This trip would turn out to be like no other.
Their nearly-new Chevy truck was showing signs of some problem about forty miles north of Sheridan. Having trouble climbing the hill caught the attention of Donny Guardipee and when they started down the other side, he realized they had no brakes. Thankfully, he was able to get the vehicle stopped using the trailer brakes.The truck soon started smoking and then caught on fire. The passenger door was too hot for Debbie to get out through it. They got the truck and trailer stopped, got the dogs and horse out and Donny knew they had to unhook the truck from the trailer if they could. "The adrenaline was going pretty good" Donny said.
The family lost some money, the papers for Vegas (Caleb's horse) and some other personal items that they just couldn't get out in time, but they were fortunate to make it out unharmed. "We're just lucky that we all got out" Debbie said.
The family found themselves without transportation and several people stopped to offer assistance. Among those was Cody Hutchinson who was on his way home from Montana when he came upon the fire. A rodeo guy himself, he offered to hook up their trailer and take them the rest of the way.
The Chevrolet dealership where the family purchased the pickup delivered another vehicle so they would have transportation home.
Vegas spent some time in quarantine before they could get bet papers faxed from Montana.