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Truck hits house, opens gas leak

December 9, 2017

A man driving from Hoback toward Jackson on Friday morning may have had a seizure, police said, causing him to lose control of his truck and crash into a house on Sage Meadow Road, south of town.

Police responded at 9 a.m. and found the driver, Travis Ziehl, unconscious.

“He was not responsive and the pickup truck was locked,” Teton County Sheriff’s Master Deputy Kurt Drumheller told the Jackson Hole Daily. “But the passenger side window had been blown out.”

Drumheller unlocked the truck and extracted Ziehl from the vehicle.

“A witness said he went off the right shoulder and blasted through a sign and crossed all four lanes of the highway and went through a fence and across the bike path and slammed into a house and a gas line,” Drumheller said. “The gas line was just spewing.”

The collision caused extensive damage to the outside of the house and a small gas explosion inside, police said.

“It knocked their breakfast table across the room,” Drumheller said.

The homeowner’s adult son was home at the time but wasn’t injured, police said.

“There was quite a bit of natural gas inside the house,” Jackson Hole Fire/EMS Battalion Chief Brian Coe said. “We had to clear that out.”

Fire/EMS responded to handle the gas leak and to transport Ziehl to St. John’s Medical Center.

“He had some broken bones in his face and cheek and a broken jaw,” Drumheller said.

St. John’s spokesperson Karen Connelly said the hospital’s emergency department treated and stabilized Ziehl for transfer to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center in Idaho Falls.

The scene was cleared just before 11 a.m., Coe said.

Ziehl, owner of Jackson Hole Property Services and an avid trail runner, is a Hoback resident. Alcohol is not believed to be a factor.

— Editor Johanna Love contributed to this report.